Halifax Students fight Vandalism with Graffiti

I’ve been corresponding with a writer in Halifax who by a coincidence shares my last name: 15 year old Adam Reiss. He’s been trying to help organize a screening of Bomb It in Halifax. In the mean time he’s been pretty busy as evidenced by this article in the Halifax News: (for the full article go to click here

Students fight vandalism with graffiti

Teens paint local eyesores, Cole Harbour tunnel and skatepark

JOANNE OOSTVEEN
Halifax News Net

Aerosol artist Adam Reiss says he wanted to show people the good side of graffiti. So it was with this, and a desire to brighten up his community in mind, that he approached HRM for some help to clean up two Cole Harbour eyesores.

“I knew I wanted to paint the skatepark and called the community arts facilitator Kate MacLennan,” said 15-year-old Reiss who attends Eric Graves Junior High. “She helped us with permits and gave us direction.”

MacLennan said she asked Cole Harbour High’s art department if they knew of any other interested youth and found some other students who wanted to paint the tunnel and the skatepark. She said it gave them a chance to beautify their community and contribute in a positive way.

“It’s an opportunity for adults to see the positive effects youth can have in the community, when provided with meaningful opportunities, therefore enhancing the community’s appreciation for young people and reducing fear and ageism,” said MacLennan.

It took 10 youths one weekend to paint the tunnel near Cole Harbour Place – a site of frequent attacks and vandalism.

Seventeen-year-old Kristin Purdy said she has heard great things from people in the community since the tunnel was complete and knows that there will be positive comments after the skatepark is finished, too.

“We are growing up here, so why not make it look better?” she said. “Plus we should have input into how we want our community to look.”

Ryan Farrell, another Cole Harbour High School student said it is important for youth to take responsibility in their neighbourhoods. He plans to pursue his love of art next year by studying architecture.

And Garrett Lamer said one of the reasons he wanted to help out was to fulfill his IB requirement of community service. No matter what, he said, it looks a lot better in Cole Harbour than it did before.

Adam Reiss isn’t afraid that someone will paint over his masterpieces.

“There’s an unwritten rule among artists that you don’t paint over someone else’s work, especially if it’s better than yours,” he said with a laugh.

MacLennan wants adults in the community to now step up to help the youth with more painting and beautifying of the community.

“Many of them are interested in doing another project in other tunnels along the road,” she said. “I would love to see some adults in the community that would be willing to help lead the youth through further projects.”

joanneoostveen@accesswave.ca

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