Friday, June 27, 2008

Graffiti for all ages

Kathy's son looks at one of the favorite sections of the wall

It was a really hot day down on the asphalt just off I-25. A bunch of us sprayed our way to fun and created some profound personal poetry, too. Sam started us off with an overview of the history of graffiti and a video of the lifestyle it comes out of. It is part of his own story and he believes the form can be redeemed and embraced. We discussed our thoughts about it and asked questions of "the master." I felt pretty inept as I walked the brilliant wall that he and his friends had painted at Joshua Station where we met for the workshop. A lot of time, talent, skill, and love and hard work must have gone into each section. None of us produced anything of that standard, but we got our feet wet and gained a few beginner's tools to pursue it further.

Our next step was to write a poem about our self. We learned graffiti is all about identity. Sam gave us a list of statements to complete. This took the pressure off and allowed the answers to flow. When done you have an instant poem. His girls bravely read the ones they had done before. He has previously posted those here. Thank you Jessica, Angel, and Myah for allowing us to hear your beautiful poems.

Kathy has already posted her take on it here. She got to read everyone's poems while typing them for us.

When our poem was finished we gathered images and other printed materials, stamps and papers to use in collaging our theme. We each sprayed a multi-color background on a foam core board, and when dry, began to work into it gluing images and our poem, using markers and more paint. Sam painted people's names on their boards graffiti style if they wanted. Everyone's final result was completely unique with such cool different colors and styles. I wish I had taken more photos of the results.

The next week I bought cans of spray paint in bright colors, stencils, and a silver paint marker. Over several days I transformed (botched, messed up, improved??) a patio table and a large metal container to use in our Jesus stations. That wouldn't have happened without the inspiration from the graffiti workshop and the encouragement that if you make a mistake, just go over it and keep working. (You can see my results in the previous post's link to the Jesus Stations photos.) I also worked more on my graffiti board from the workshop, but don't know if it is done. How do you know??

Here are my pictures from the wall and workshop.

The template for the I Am (identity poem) is as follows:

I am: (two special characteristics you have) ___________________________
I wonder: (something you are curious about) ___________________________
I hear: (a sound you imagine) ___________________________
I see: (a sight you imagine) ___________________________
I want: (something you actually want) ___________________________
I am: (the first line of the poem repeated) ___________________________
I pretend: (something you pretend to do) ___________________________
I feel: (a feeling about something imaginary or real) ___________________________
I touch: (something you imagine touching) ___________________________
I worry: (something that really bothers you) ___________________________
I cry: (something that makes you very sad) ___________________________
I am: (the first line of the poem created) ___________________________
I understand: (something you know is true) __________________________
I say: (something you believe in) ___________________________
I dream: (something you actually dream about) ___________________________
I try: (something you make an effort to do) ___________________________
I hope: (something you hope for) ___________________________
I am: (the first line of the poem repeated) _____


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