Graffiti Project

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Graffiti Project

Posted: 16/07/2008 18:51:54

A brand new graffiti project to brighten up Shrewsbury while encouraging young people to work together to realise their artistic potential starts this week.

Youngsters from six areas of the town are involved in the two-month project, which will culminate in the unveiling of a giant mural within the town in September.

Community Support Officer Sue Tomlinson, Youth Inclusion CSO for North Shrewsbury, has organised the initiative to allow teenagers to do something positive both for themselves and their town over the summer, while also learning about teamwork and boosting their own self-esteem.

“It originally started as quite a small project, but quickly grew into something much bigger with young people from Harlescott Grange and Bagley, Castlefields and Ditherington, Sundorne, Monkmoor, Belle Vue and Sutton and Meole Brace and Bayston Hill now involved,” she said.

“We’re working with a fantastic graffiti artists called Neil Williams, who’s company Auniqueart has done some amazing similar projects across the country, and he will be guiding the youngsters along the way.

“Over the summer, there will be six mini projects, where the kids will be able to come up with their own graffiti-style designs on a small board. They will work with local CSOs and youth workers throughout the project.

“But before they get their hands on any paint, they will first be taken on a tour around Shrewsbury for inspiration and to find out more about the town they live in. The designs will have to have a Shrewsbury theme.

“Once the mini-projects are complete, elements of each design will be taken and formed into one giant mural by Neil, who will do the outline before letting the teenagers fill it in themselves.

“The project will have many benefits both for those involved and the rest of the town, as an area currently plagued by illegal graffiti will be given a unique new look. Anti-graffiti paint will be used for the mural so it can not be defaced by anyone in the future.

“Young people from North Shrewsbury will learn skills such as teamwork and dedication, while also improving their self esteem and giving them something worthwhile to do rather than hanging around on the streets.”

Funding for the project has come from the Positive Activities for Young People scheme, through the Shropshire Youth Association, Shropshire County Council’s Youth Service and a number of local companies and organisations, including Staples which has provided materials, Boots, Travis Perkins and Tourist Information which is giving the tours.

Gillian Burvill from the Pride in Shrewsbury project has helped with the organising, along with CSO Catherine Williams, Youth Inclusion CSO for South Shrewsbury and other community support officers from the areas involved.

“Neither the police, Neil or anyone else involved in this project allows or will tolerate illegal graffiti, but graffiti art-based youth work is now recognised as an effective method in getting young people involved in their communities,” added CSO Tomlinson.

“This is their chance to do something positive for their town while also doing something positive for themselves.”

The finished Shropshire Youth Mural, once the design has been seen and approved by Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council planners, will be unveiled at the beginning of September.


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