Mentors show teens joy of expressive art (Graffiti For A Great Cause) NZ 


An arts trust put spray cans in the hands of at-risk teenagers for a week - and the result has been some astounding artworks.

The Still Water Rising Trust, founded by New Zealand's Next Top Model director Jeff Szusterman and other broadcasters and actors, brought 16 students from South Auckland alternative education centres together with some leading artists.

Each artist worked with a teenager to help the youngster create art works ranging from a small airbrushed painting to a giant mural.

Aerosol artist Dan Tippett, 37, who worked with 15-year-old Te Mai Koha Hakopa to spray-paint a covered trailer for Otara's Crosspower Ministries, said it was all about "upskilling from tagging to using the spray can creatively - trying to beautify things rather than destroy them. The idea is to show them how to start and finish a project," he said.

"It's tricky because they are used to instant gratification, the 'now' culture.

"The trick is trying to hold their concentration and teach them that to get good at anything, it takes time and discipline."

Jedrek Andrews, also 15, worked with airbrush artist Tamihana Robin, 24, to produce a painting of hip-hop artists Biggie Smalls and Ice Cube.

Bobby Ioramo, 15, was inspired by aerosol artist Otis Frizzell to produce a huge mural featuring himself, his parents, his tutors and a Biblical passage: "I can do all things through Christ whose strength is me."

"It's about how I changed from doing the young gang-affiliate stuff," Jedrek said. "Art made me change. It allowed me to explore who I was."

Tylah Togiakona, 16, worked with traditional Samoan artist Nathan Suniula to make a ceremonial mat with a design cut into it to reveal a painting underneath. "I've never done anything like this," he said.

Alternative education teacher Sarah Longbottom, who organised the week, said Szusterman was originally inspired by a one-to-one playwriting project with young people in New York's 52nd Street (52project.org), and ran several drama-based projects after he returned to Auckland in 2004.

Last week's project was the first time the idea was extended to the visual arts and involved alternative education students.

The works will be shown at the new Mangere arts centre for a month from November 26.

original source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10682963

Added by: Watcher, 24/Jun/24 | Comments: 1
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