Teen views in spray paint
With the help of Porirua teachers, a group of Kapiti 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 were taggers – some had never held a spray can before.
Run by Jacob Burns and Nick MacDonald, of Porirua-based urban art business GM ‘‘ Graffiti Modified’’ Design, the workshops were held two nights each week for seven weeks, with a graduation last Thursday at the Otaki Memorial Hall.
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 the teens 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.
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(s) 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 CapeKaiawe, 16, agrees.
‘‘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.
URBAN ART: Otaki College students Anya George, 16, front, Nathan Cape-Kaiawe, 16, left, and Zac Olsthorn, 16, at the Graffing the Future workshop.