It’s the new year, and RedCan is rising once again. With interest in Indian Country’s first and only invitational graffiti jam hotter than ever, the Cheyenne River Youth Project® has announced the dates and featured artists for its 3rd annual RedCan—and has launched the fundraising campaign that will support this year’s event.
RedCan 2017 will take place from June 29 to July 1 at CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park and at various sites across the city of Eagle Butte. Featured artists this year are Estria from Hawaii; East from Denver; Serval from Switzerland; Scribe from Kansas City, Missouri; Scape Martinez from San Francisco; Kazilla and ER from Miami; Dwayno Insano from Tucson, Arizona; and Biafra Inc., Cyfi and Wundr from Minnesota’s Twin Cities.
Estria is this year’s headlining artist. This internationally recognized muralist is the co-founder and creative director of The Estria Foundation, a nonprofit organization that uses public art as a catalyst for transforming communities and bringing attention to important local issues. In his most recent project, MeleMurals, Estria created a series of 20 murals across the Hawaiian Islands that connect stories, places, people and ancestors.
Estria began painting in Hawaii in 1984, and he has completed nearly 1,000 murals worldwide. He was an influential leader during the writing’s “golden age” in 1980s San Francisco, he pioneered painting techniques, and he was instrumental in the development of the stencil tip.
“We’re honored that Estria will be joining us for this year’s RedCan,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director. “Our children and community members will have a priceless opportunity to watch yet another world-class artist at work, ask questions, and experience new creative ideas and techniques.”
This is CRYP’s third annual RedCan event. The nonprofit youth organization created this one-of-a-kind invitational graffiti jam two years ago so Lakota culture and graffiti culture could come together in unexpected and inspiring ways. And Garreau and her staff quickly learned that RedCan resonated not only with the community, but with the artists themselves. Many said they were profoundly moved by the experience of creating art in the Cheyenne River community.
“The Cheyenne River Youth Project is a magical bridge to the graffiti world,” said Serval, a 2016 headlining artist who lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland.
Graffiti jams were designed to introduce graffiti as an art form, bringing together people who exemplify the contemporary graffiti art movement and how it has evolved since its inception a half century ago. In the case of RedCan, not only are artists showcasing a global movement, its relevance and how to be part of it, they’re connecting the graffiti world with the indigenous one, allowing Lakota artists to infuse graffiti with their own culture, identities and stories.
“RedCan provides meaningful, lasting inspiration to our young people, who seek to explore their identities, find their own unique voices, and express themselves in a positive, healthy way,” Garreau said. “It also offers offers an unprecedented opportunity for the Cheyenne River community as a whole to experience what has become the largest art movement in the history of humankind.”
RedCan also brings together generations and cultures in the Cheyenne River community and in the Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, an innovative, free public art space dedicated to graffiti, street art and traditional Lakota painting. The park is a gathering place where positive self-expression, storytelling, reconciliation and healing takes place for all. And, once again, hip-hop groups, native drum groups and native dancers will be on hand to ensure that RedCan is a high-energy merging of two worlds.
Hosting such a major event with acclaimed artists from around the world is no small task, and CRYP is asking for support from RedCan fans. Simply click “Help CRYP” above, and with your donation, please include the note “RedCan 2017.” All proceeds will be used to purchase paint, artist supplies, food and beverages, and to help cover the artists’ travel expenses. For more information on how to help support RedCan, contact organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the coming weeks, CRYP will share more details regarding visiting artists, planned activities and performances, and much more. Look for updates here, and follow CRYP on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—hashtag #RedCanRising.
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.