The Cheyenne River Youth Project®’s acclaimed RedCan graffiti jam is just eight weeks away, and staff members have launched a Crowdrise campaign (crowdrise.com/redcangraffitijam2016) to raise the much-needed funds to cover the costs of paint, art supplies, food and beverages, and artists’ travel expenses. And they’re not doing it alone — several artists have made financial contributions, and headlining artist Scribe is selling his “Cante Iyapapi” prints through the CRYP gift shop and online at scribeswalk.com to help support the RedCan fundraising effort.
Twenty-five signed 18×24 prints are available, and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit CRYP. Scribe said he’s happy to do whatever he can to support the youth project as it pursues its ongoing mission in the Cheyenne River community.
“A lot of my life has been trying to make something bigger out of something that starts small,” he explained. “It seems like CRYP has a similar situation. I admire that type of spirit, and I admire people who invest in the well-being of others. There are a lot of jams currently being used to ultimately help real estate and make an area hip. This is more about uplifting a community as a whole.”
Scribe lives in Kansas City, Missouri, and is well-known for his animated public murals and gallery shows throughout the United States as well as in Canada and Mexico. His playful and often humorous work features a menagerie of animal characters that he has developed over many years. He intersperses personal iconography, biblical and fairytale references, animation and metaphor in works intended to serve as contemporary parables.
Joining Scribe at this summer’s RedCan event is Serval, a graffiti artist of American origin who grew up in Switzerland and gained early recognition in Geneva. In recent years, he’s left a mark on the global graffiti scene, from countries around Europe to Australia and Thailand. His work features graceful letters with pure lines, deep and surprising colors, and murals that reveal his skill with themes and illustrations. In addition to his public work and gallery shows, he also has released a book project and is a founding member of Chapter Suisse Romande of the Universal Zulu Nation, one of the world’s most prominent hip-hop organizations.
Additional headliners include East from Denver and Kazilla from Miami, both of whom attended the inaugural RedCan graffiti jam last year. A native of the Midwest, East attended the Chicago Academy for the Arts before embarking on his graffiti art career more than 30 years ago; today, he owns and operates the Cypher Shop, Denver’s premium art supply boutique, and he continues to pursue his passion for letters and lettering styles. He has noted that graffiti jams generate a tremendous amount of energy and excitement due to the underground nature of the graffiti movement.
“The idea behind a graffiti jam is to share knowledge and skills, and pass them on,” East explained during CRYP’s inaugural RedCan event. “A lot of things that happen in graffiti art are not in the public eye, so they’re not easy to access. With jams, you know you can see the artists in person, watch them work, and ask questions. That can be life-changing.”
A native of New Mexico, Kazilla lives and works in Little Haiti, Miami, where she has become one of the region’s top street artists and has garnered international acclaim. After moving to the East Coast in 2007, she combined her fine art and graffiti art to create an edgy, colorful clash of two different worlds. Today, she paints live for musical acts and top brands, she displays her work in fine-art establishments across the country, and she finds time to also work as a performance artist, designer, muralist, photographer, producer, musician, philanthropist and consultant.
“We’re deeply honored to host artists of this caliber,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “As we learned last year, RedCan is an unprecedented opportunity for cultural exchange. Our community members are able to share their Lakota heritage and traditions, while our featured artists have the opportunity to share their unique techniques and styles. RedCan brings together generations and cultures, which is an incredibly powerful thing.
“Our hope is that it also provides inspiration for our kids, who are seeking to explore their identities, find their own voices and express themselves,” she continued. “Our mission is to give them the tools they need to embark on that journey in a positive, healthy way — and in a way that strengthens their connection to their Lakota roots.”
During RedCan, Serval, Scribe, East and Kazilla will paint alongside fellow visiting artists Biafra, Cyfi, Daesk and Wundr from Minnesota’s Twin Cities, local Cheyenne River artists and youth artists from preschool to high school. Hip-hop groups, native drum groups and native dancers also will be on hand for the four-day, high-energy celebration of art and culture.
For a peek at what you can expect at this year’s RedCan graffiti jam, visit the youth project’s YouTube channel. In the video library, you’ll CRYP’s trailer for the 2016 RedCan event, as well as the trailer and a 12-minute documentary from 2015.
And, to stay up to date on the latest CRYP news and events, follow the youth project on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The Cheyenne River Youth Project, founded in 1988, is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation with access to a vibrant and secure future through a wide variety of culturally sensitive and enduring programs, projects and facilities that ensure strong, self-sufficient families and communities.