Teens voice views with paint

KELVIN TEIXEIRA
Last updated 11:43 29/10/2012
Paint
URBAN ART: Otaki College students Anya George, 16, front, Nathan Cape-Kaiawe, 16, left, and Zac Olsthorn, 16, at last week’s Graffing the Future workshop.

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A group of Otaki teenagers have been learning to paint with spray cans on canvas and direct their creativity as an art form rather than tags on walls.

Not that all of the 14 youths on the Graffing the Future programme are taggers, with some never having held a spray can before.

Run by Jacob Burns and Nick MacDonald, of Porirua-based urban art business GM "Graffiti Modified" Design, the workshops have been held two nights each week for the past seven weeks, with a graduation planned for this Thursday evening at the Otaki Memorial Hall.

The spray-painted canvases will be on display in Otaki during this weekend's Kapiti Arts Trail, with the young urban artists on hand to demonstrate and talk about their artwork.

Mr Burns said the programme was about teaching urban art to young people in a positive, constructive way, in a relaxed environment.

"They learn about concepts, colours and layouts and that it involves hours of time and effort."

He said they could then express themselves through art positively without the negative consequences of illegal tagging.

Tagging had an adverse effect on the professional urban art industry, which showed respect for local communities and could offer expertly-illustrated murals and other artwork, he said.

Last week the group completed three murals at the Otaki Domain, including a scene with Kapiti Island, an All Black and a basketball player.

"It was a real achievement for these youth and pretty exciting to see, as well as that it's been welcomed by the Otaki community. It's fantastic," he said.

Otaki College student Zac Olsthorn, 16, said he was considering urban art as a career option.

"I have a real love for it and enjoy everything about the art form."

Fellow student Nathan Cape- Kaiawe, 16, enjoys showing his creative side

"I can express what I'm thinking and show it on canvas."

The Graffing the Future programme is run as part of the Kapiti District Council's Youth Action Plan.

The exhibition will be in a building at the front of The Hub Church in Tasman Rd, Otaki.

It is among 80 sites featuring 250 artists on this weekend's arts trail.

Council arts and museum development officer Catherine Scollay said 50 artists were opening their studios to the public, covering mediums including ceramics, jewellery, mosaics, stonework and painting. There will also be seven galleries, two cafes and 20 arts and artisan hubs.

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The trail runs through Saturday and Sunday, from 9am till 5pm, at venues from Paekakariki to Otaki. See liftout on pages 9-16.

- Kapiti Observer

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