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Red Can Graffiti Jam Kicks Off In Eagle Butte

The Cheyenne River Youth Project is hosting the Red Can Graffiti Jam this week. The event started Wednesday at the Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park in Eagle Butte and will end Saturday in Rapid City’s Art Ally. The Red Can Jam features several internationally recognized graffiti artists teaching children how to skateboard and spray-paint. 

Children gather around tables to decorate their helmets with spray-paint and stencils. Others spay-paint murals onto the wooden boards that line the park.  Children at the event get a chance to learn new skateboarding and spray-painting techniques from internationally recognized graffiti artists.

The graffiti artists are scattered throughout Eagle Butte spray-painting murals by request. One woman is spray-painting a trailer.

 “Hi, my name’s MJ. I’m here in South Dakota at the Cheyenne River Reservation.”

M.J.’s artist name is MEME. MEME is a member of Few and Far, an organization of women skate boarders and muralists that she describes as activists. She says she’s trying to motivate kids with her lessons.

 “I’m very happy that we’re here. Some of the smiles from letting them paint with me and hanging out with them is really great. So I’m really excited to teach them how to skateboard because skateboarding seems like aw this is such a cool thing to do and it’s so gnarly hard. And if I can skateboard I can do a lot of things,” says MEME.

MEME says she hopes skateboarding is a positive outlet for the children like it was for her. Julie Garreau is the executive director for the Cheyenne River Youth Project. She says the park and the event have helped the children discover passions.

 “It’s just another option, another option, another opportunity, another door open another like, another idea that they might have to say oh I can be an artist. A lot of them have these skills, but do they do anything about that, you know. So let’s just keep doing it, opening doors for kids so they can walk thru them,” Garreau says.

The Red Can Graffiti Jam’s final day is in Rapid City’s Art Ally on Saturday, July 11th at 10am.