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The Youth of Christchurch Create Unique Art in Central City

The Stencil Art Project: The Youth of Christchurch Create Unique Art in the Central City

SCAPE Public Art and Westpac are working together to bring to life The Stencil Art Project in Christchurch. Young people from schools and community groups in Christchurch are invited to take part in the project, where they will be creating a self-portrait stencil and then spraying it up on The Terrace Construction Hoardings in Re:START Mall on Cashel Street between 16 April and 22 May 2014.

The Stencil Art Project offers Christchurch schools and community groups the unique opportunity to be a part of a collaborative stencil art project in the central city. Each and every year 8 -13 student is encouraged to take part in this exciting project that will result in an eye-catching artwork which showcases the young people of Christchurch. The central idea of the project is for the young people of Christchurch to be a visible presence in their city. The project gives young people a voice, reminding the viewer of the potential and talent of the future of Christchurch. It also brings young people together, encouraging collaboration and creativity in order to produce an incredible display of art.

Teachers of Year 8 students and above and community youth groups are invited to get involved and arrange a time for Josie Whelan, an art educator and the Education and Community Engagement Manager at SCAPE Public Art, to visit their school and run a class to create these self-portrait stencils. This involves teaching the students how to make a self-portrait stencil from a digital photograph and then cutting it out. Another session will be organised for the young people to meet at Re:START Mall to spray up their stencils for the whole of Christchurch and visitors to see. Each interested group will receive a step by step guide of how to proceed with creating the stencils with the help of Josie Whelan.

“This is an incredible opportunity for the youth of Christchurch to get involved with creating public art within the central city,” Deborah McCormick, the Director of SCAPE Public Art says. “The idea is to encourage creativity and re-engagement of young people and their families within central Christchurch through artistic expression”. Some of the first schools getting involved in the project this week are Papanui High School and Heaton Intermediate School.

There is an important link between The Stencil Art project and The New Zealand Arts Curriculum. Young people will investigate and consider the relationship between the production of art works and their contexts and influences. They will develop skills across a range of artistic techniques in order to produce the work. This project offers young people the chance to explore the origins of stencil style work undertaken globally since the 1980’s to make social comment. Students will apply knowledge of selected conventions from established practises, using appropriate processes and procedures and they will learn to compare and contrast ways in which art processes are used to create meaning.

This type of work is also highly relevant to the current artistic environment in Christchurch. Since the September 2011 earthquake, street art and public art has emerged as a way to activate spaces, this was also reflected by the recent RISE exhibition at Canterbury Museum and in the streets of central Christchurch. RISE profiled the best of street art, both internationally and from New Zealand. Given the rising popularity of street art in Christchurch, The Stencil Art Project is a great way for the youth of Christchurch to learn about this artistic expression and to produce street art that will be displayed in the central city.

Westpac, SCAPE Public Art’s platinum sponsor, is excited to see youth producing art that is to be displayed at the site of their new location at The Terrace in Cashel Street. “Westpac is all about helping Kiwi’s, and this event is the perfect way to support kiwi children in the production and presentation of their art”, said Sue Foley, Director Corporate Affairs at Westpac.

Richie McCaw, Westpac Ambassador, is thrilled to be a part of The Stencil Art Project and cannot wait to have his stencil sprayed up. “All you've gotta do is take a photo of yourself, cut out a stencil and spray up your picture at the Re:START Mall. So talk to your parents and teachers and come on down to get your stencil sprayed up next to mine and help make Christchurch look awesome”, Richie McCaw said.

To find out more information or to learn how to register to be a part of The Stencil Art Project, please visit: http://scapebiennial.org.nz/stencil-art-projector

Keep updated via our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SCAPEPublicArt

ENDS

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