#thesavageway won an art grant sponsored by Project Art Aid’s Queen City Soup. The grant is to execute positive Clean Graffiti messages/art around high-risk Charlotte neighborhoods. Upon winning, #thesavageway partnered with Project LIFT & West Charlotte High School to make a larger, more direct community impact. As this project unfolds, #thesavageway will be documenting their experience working with the students.
December 4, 2014
Last week marked the first meeting with the West Charlotte High School (WCHS) students. We joined Beverly Smith, WCHS Art Director, during her International Baccalaureate (IB) Art class. As stated on the program’s website, “the IB Diploma Program is an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepares students for success at university and beyond.” To say that these kids are talented is an enormous understatement.
Introduction to Clean Graffiti
We spent the afternoon meeting the teens and introducing the concept of Clean Graffiti to them. We explained how our use of this eco-friendly medium came about for #thesavageway (aka playing around with a pressure washer) and we showed examples of past clients (pictured here).
Next we introduced Paul Curtis (aka Moose) to the class. Moose, was the first person to ever do a reverse graffiti campaign. His work can be seen from San Francisco to London and beyond. His latest piece was in collaboration with Nissan Leaf, the world’s best selling electric vehicle. See video here. No one in the class had seen Clean Graffiti before and as artists, their interest was immediately peeked.
We also showed the class examples of one of the first companies to make sustainable advertising a business, Green Graffiti. When we first began our Clean Graffiti journey, GG founder Jim Bowes was an idol, that person we wanted to model ourselves after. Within the past year, we have been lucky enough to form a partnership with Jim and his team in the Netherlands.
Introduction to the Art Project
The students began questioning how they were going to be involved. We introduced them to the project and how they would play a pivotal role. The gist is to put down a positive, yet artsy, Clean Graffiti installation (in both English & Spanish) at each of the nine Project LIFT schools. We will also target a few of the walking paths around West Charlotte High School. Here is how it is going to work:
- Students are broken into groups and will work as a team.
- Design ideas will be discussed and sketched out for review.
- #thesavageway team will return to help guide the students in the right direction in regards to stenciling.
- In the New Year, the groups will present their proposals to #thesavageway then a winner will be chosen.
- From here execution of the project can begin.
- The IB art students will be present the day of execution at the high school so they can obtain that first-hand experience.
Thoughts from initial Meeting
We are BEYOND excited at the excitement and talent that these creative students exhibit. The fact that they are able to experience this new concept from the ground up is sure to be a wonderful learning experience. We could see their wheels turning and even brainstormed a few ideas on the spot.
The initial goal of this project was to put down some positive vibes in high-risk neighborhoods in Charlotte, however with this collaboration, the opportunity has grown to making a direct impact in this community.
Stay tuned for the next blog when we return to WCHS to help the students in the design phase.