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High Valued Target ~

Last weekend Sherman Oaks Park hosted an event called Camp Sizzle where Off The Wall Graffiti was asked to create with the community at large with our mentors and artists. It was meant to give opportunity to everyone to make their mark and leave feeling more alive.

It worked. We brought our crew, native New York artist, Paul A. Nassar, (Paulie) our Co-Founder and lead mentor who painted on three 4X8 panels of wood with his characters of the day. His signature Jellies floated up the canvas with an abstract background of vibrant contrasting colors, serving as the backdrop for photo ops all weekend. Alongside him was his college roommate and our Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ireland’s own, Stuart L. Crawford who graced two boards with his inspired hand. One was of a multi-colored skeleton, which defied stereotype.

That day they mentored and cajoled young and old into creating before boarding a plane to New York reminding us that “if you love it, do it everyday.”

On Sunday, Sebastian Murillo Crawford (no relation), native to Los Angeles, took the lead as artist-mentor, having stood along side Paulie for the last two years, he dug in on the baseball diamond’s fence with his two pieces. One, an “eye” in all blues, symbolizing his inquiry about being an “Indigo-child” (a person who is born with knowledge beyond his years.) The other was originally his go-to graff style which he started while struggling with his eye, as part of the creative process, he jumped off the more difficult canvas and got his sea-legs back doing something he knew he could do, then returned to complete the eye. With my urging, he altered to his throwy into an abstract mushroom, showing that he had more than just glanced at Stuart’s skeleton before turning it around to paint on the back.

Vanuel Harkuma , from San Diego made an ode to Marcel Duchamp and a little Stuart, by stenciling ART? across his board. His major contribution of the day was working with a young woman who dared herself to go big on a board, having never done such a thing. She spent hours applying words and paint to the surface, boldly applying blacks and reds and bright orange to the messages of “PEACE”, “HELP” and “I LIVED”. This was a very personal piece and to look at it you felt, read and saw a journey.

We had a return visit from our new “intern” who painted with abandon on tees and boards, and many others stenciled, played and sketched at our table. At the end of the day, Vanuel and I packed the car with paint and easels, leaving the boards attached to the baseball diamond fence for the 1000 daily park walkers to see, knowing that we would return the following Friday to begin a residency at the park painting during Camp Sizzle, on Friday nights throughout the summer.

On Thursday I was informed that 5 of our 8 canvases had been stolen. We are blown back like one is when violated with such an obvious act. Like anyone who has been robbed or taken advantage of, I as the “victim” went through thoughts of “Should I have known better?” and “What would I do differently knowing the risks?” and was seen as not valuing the art because we didn’t take it with us at the end of the day.

I have been stolen from before in the act of serving others, it has taught me to not bring my “all” to the party every time and to be cautious that other’s think of my things as theirs. I have gotten ballsy in my re-claiming when I see it happen. I didn’t see this happen. I didn’t see it coming either. Now I will get ballsy in securing walls to help others express themselves and leave it behind for us to value in much more permanent ways.

Clearly there is a high desire for this art as someone hoisted 5 heavy panels away. We will be making more of it, undeterred and doubled down in having a large gallery show by the end of the summer in DTLA showcasing the work. Follow @offthewallgraffiti on instagram and twitter, or facebook and donate now, if you believe in our work. We cannot do it without your support, which buys more paint, more boards and more means for us to get out there and make art to change lives.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Caroline Mayou

    Hey there,

    I absolutely love this concept and would like to feature you on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PeopleWhoHelpOurWorld

    This is a page dedicated to honoring people who makes moves towards helping our world. I think what you’re doing is great and if I could guide more traffic your way, it would make my day. Could you send me an email ? All I would need is a URL and maybe a basic bio on what you do (I can write it if you’re too busy).

    I found you through your mission you posted.

    Best,

    Caroline

  2. Graham

    I do hope that the theft doesn’t deter anyone from continuing to create!

  3. Vaughn

    Great work!

  4. Alvin

    Nice blog and charity! I will continue to follow and donate in the future!

    Appreciate the mission on EV as well. I will share on my blog, etc. Have a great day!

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