Welcome to The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti Summer Institute 2015!
The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti is one of the first college level courses in the USA where students earn 3 credits in this specific subject while experiencing and learning hands on studio practice and techniques.
Guest Artists & Lecturers for this term:
Day #1 – 7/13/15
The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti started off with a class overview, learning outcomes and expectations. A historical presentation on early Graffiti in NYC begins with who the early writers were and how styles developed and evolved. Understanding and identifying the difference between legal and illegal graffiti works were explored. A screening and discussion of Style Wars set a great tone and left students with much to think about, especially a re-definition of what Graffiti is and how it can be defined. Style Wars is an essential part of the re-definition process of understanding graffiti. Will you take the time to check it out?
Day #2 – 7/14/15
The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti continued with a lecture on the earliest forms of tagging and letter forms. Writing on the wall dates back to pre-historic time. We discussed the human need to record and interpret the world and how it has transcended time. A tag and tagging development workshop with graffiti alphabets and markers took place. We explored various hand-styles, bubble letters and creating a graffiti name. The class examined: “How do graffiti writers create their names?”
Blackbooks were also introduced and discussed. Many of the students started their own and contributed drawings to each others books. Several of the guest artists also participated. Online resources were introduced, discussed and explored featuring Art Crimes & @149th St. After Day #1’s Style Wars screening, we discussed the importance of Henry Chalfant & Tony Silver’s classic documentary as well as Chalfant & Martha Cooper’s book “Subway Art” aka the Graffiti Bible.
Day #3 – 7/15/15
The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti started with a tagging workshop in hand style graffiti and solidifying a tag name. The class explored the tools of the trade, working with various sizes of markers. Students learned that aerosol spray paint can control is not as easy as it may seem to be. Developing spray can control takes many years of practice and dedication. We found out first hand in our first experience. Students collaborated on a group piece that displays their new identities. Followed by a guest artist presentation and aerosol demo from SEBS.
SEBS shared both aerosol tagging styles as well as building larger letter forms, fill ins and outlining. Students continued to practice and add contributions to the wall over the duration of the course.
Day #4 – 7/16/15
The class met in New York City for a guided walking street art & graffiti tour of downtown Manhattan with NYC Graff Tours aka Gabe Schoenberg. SOHO, Nolita and the Lower East Side will be covered.
On the tour we discussed and defined the modular components of Hip Hop. B-Boy & B-Girl poses in front of Ron English’s Wall on Houston St. were essential aspects of retaining the information.
(photo by GRAFF TOURS creator Gabe Schoenberg)
On Day #4 we also met up with artist Jordan Seiler for a NYC studio visit and tour with the NOAD app in the Subway. Jordan discussed his various public projects and spoke about taking back public space. The NOAD app tour was a great new awareness to how artists can participate.
Day #5 – 7/17/15
The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti hit the classroom for an introduction to Street Art lecture. The rise and evolution, connections to graffiti and public art. We spoke about the work of John Fekner and the awareness his influential work brought to the public.
On day #5 General Howe presented his work and discussed the transition of generating non-commissioned Street Art works and synthesizing them into conceptual new Media Art formats for the web and beyond. We discussed his tumblr based project titled “Disasters of War” and how the project has brought new levels of awareness and context to how information is presented and proceeded to the public.
RJ Rushmore is the author of VIRAL ART Creator of Vandalog.com and Co-Curator and Co-Creator of ENCRYPTED FILLS – his book Viral Art was emphasized during the course and used as a main resource of investigation. Not only is the book filled with introductions to many artists and their practice, it is a great insight into how the internet has forever changed how artists communicate across the globe. The book is free to read online or download. Each student was required to obtain a copy.
Day # 6 – 7/20/15
The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti continued with understanding various Street Art styles, techniques, and motivations. Street art awareness via photography and the Outdoor Gallery book – author & photographer Yoav Litvin gave a great presentation on his work and lead the class discussion. From the streets of NYC to the many locations Yoav documented in South America, students received a clear vision of how commissioned works of street art function in contrast to non-commissioned works both in and out of the USA.
On the same day, identifying wheat pastes and the paste up process. Beginning with a presentation and series of definitions, CAKE aka Jennifer Caviola presented her work. CAKE also lead the class in a demonstration on the paste up technique. Using works generated specifically for the class students experimented and collaborated on a group installation with CAKE.
Day #7 – 7/21/15
The class met in New York City at the Museum of the City of NY to view the Hip Hop Revolution Exhibition. We explored the emphasis and contributions of hip hop in relationship to early NYC graffiti. B-Boying, MC-ing, DJ-ing and Breakdancing were brilliantly captured by artists Martha Cooper, Janette Beckman & Joe Conzo.
We also visited CAKE’s solo show at The Untitled Space. (45 Lispenard St. Unit 1W NYC) and discussed how her works looked in the gallery opposed to how the works look on the street and via her presentation. The beautiful show generated a lot of new insight into understanding the artist’s process and how well the works looked in the gallery environment.
(One of the many paintings from Cake’s solo show.)
Day #8 – 7/22/15
On day # 8 Herb Smith was our Guest Artist. Herb gave a great presentation about his current work and his evolution as an artist. Starting out as a traditional graffiti artist while simultaneously maintaining a career as a fine artist. Heavily influenced by Dutch masters, Herb’s unique style ranges from large scale 40 foot collaborative murals to smaller scale oil paintings of realistic birds, landscapes and portraits.
Day #9 – 7/23/15
A Stencil Art workshop was taught and conducted by Ryan Seslow. The class generated stencil art works and collaborated on a series of new works for the growing class archive. The class archive consists of over 100 student stencil art works that dates back to when the class was started. The archive resides in the university print-making studio and is available to the LIU Post community and beyond (by appointment.) The class continued exploring street art and street art techniques by identifying legal and illegal versus permission and commission based works. Public murals were discussed. We spoke and explored the works of artist Chris Stain and presented the book he organized for previous talks at LIU.
Day #10 – 7/24/15 – Final Class
The History & Emergence of Street Art & Graffiti welcomes back Public Artist Leon Reid IV to give a presentation of his work. Leon will discuss the transition made from graffiti writer to public artist. Leon led the class in a group activity on the collaborative idea developments for realizing public works of art. Students broke up into groups to contribute their mock ups. A final group critique took place to assess the outcomes.
The final class assessment, learning outcomes and discussion. Students presented and discussed the works generated in the class. We exchanged how the information learned during the class will influence each student forward? How will you apply the information learned through out the course?
Students contributed great insight and reactions through out the course by reacting and responding in the comment areas below.
Many thanks to all of the hard working students, visiting artists and contributors!
Onward and forward.
Much gratitude – Professor Ryan Seslow
Want to learn more about this course? Contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org
LIU Campus Library Book Resources
1. Scrawl : Dirty Graphics & Strange Characters, by Blackshaw, Ric., Farrelly, Liz. London : Booth-Clibborn Editions, 1999.
2. Street Art, by Schwartzman, Allan. Garden City, N.Y. : Dial Press, 1985.
3. Subway Art : 25th Anniversary edition, by Cooper, Martha., Chalfant, Henry. San Francisco, CA : Chronicle Books, 2009.
4. Trespass : A History of Un-Commissioned Urban Art, by McCormick, Carlo, Seno, Ethel, Schiller, Marc., Schiller, Sara, Banksy, Pasternak, Anne, 1964, Serra, J. Tony. Köln : Taschen, c2010.
5. Getting up : Subway Graffiti in New York, by Castleman, Craig, Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, c1982.
6. The History of American Graffiti, by Gastman, Roger , Neelon Caleb, Harper Design , April 5, 2011.
7. Viral Art, by RJ Rushmore, 2013 – download here- http://viralart.vandalog.com
8. Outdoor Gallery, by Litvin, Yoav, Ginko press, 2014.
LIU Campus Library IMA Video Resources
1. Exit Through the Gift Shop by Banksy, Oscilloscope Laboratories (Firm) [New York] : Oscilloscope Laboratories, 2010.
2. Next: A Primer on Urban Painting by Aravena, Pablo, by New Video, 2010.
3. Style Wars by Silver, Tony, Chalfant, Henry, Public Art Films, 1983.
4. Tats Cru: The Mural Kings by Lia, Jonathan, & Kotlinski, Mark, Anthem NYC (Firm) [New York] : Anthem NYC, 2006.
5. Wild Style by Ahearn, Charlie, Rhino Home Video [distributor], 2002.
6. Bomb It – by Reiss, Jon, 2007.
7. Graffiti-Post Graffiti – by Tschinkel, Paul, ART/new york, 1984.
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