GRC Donates Mural to Carson High School
On April 24, the Graffiti Resource Council (GRC) unveiled a mural it commissioned and donated to Carson High School in Carson, Calif., as part of the school’s Earth Week celebration. GRC, in collaboration with Keep California Beautiful (KCB), hosted the event at the school where each organization promoted its respective accomplishments before more than 60 students, staff, and special guests. KCB recognized various schools throughout California for their success in the K-12 Recycling Challenge, while GRC showcased its mural arts program and dedicated the mural to the school.
The mural was painted at a live showcase of some 1,500 lawmakers last summer at the 2018 National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Legislative Summit in Los Angeles, Calif. GRC enlisted artist Tyler Story to create the on-site painted mural that illustrates the difference between graffiti vandalism and street art. The finished mural depicts a woman standing between the two: she is facing the art with the vandalism at her back. The mural reveals an expression of awe in the woman as she gazes at the street art in brilliant colors, shapes, and abstract images. The reflection of colors on her face, hands, and clothes suggests the impact that street art and murals can have on individuals and their communities.
GRC is a nonprofit corporation whose primary goal is to deter graffiti vandalism. GRC is funded by the aerosol coatings industry who’s concerned about the negative impact of graffiti vandalism in America’s communities. As such, GRC’s mission is to provide creative solutions to communities to help them develop effective policies and comprehensive programs that are designed to eliminate graffiti vandalism and promote positive, innovative anti-graffiti strategies. One strategy is the development and installation of murals and street art, which are effective ways of deterring graffiti vandalism. Through this initiative, GRC seeks to help local communities develop mural and street art programs to deter graffiti vandalism.
KCB is a state-wide non-profit organization that works, through strategic initiatives and volunteer action, to preserve and protect California’s resources by igniting individual, government, community, and corporate responsibility. The organization works throughout California to educate all ages to end littering, improve recycling, and beautify communities. To that end, KCB’s annual K-12 Recycling Challenge is a friendly competition between school recycling programs that ultimately promotes waste reduction activities. Participating classrooms, schools, and districts track and report how much recyclable material they collect for a chance to win prizes.
During the event at Carson High School, opening remarks were given by representatives from both KCB and GRC. KCB’s Ray Scott, Sherri McCarthy, and Cynthia Vanthul announced the winners of the K-12 Recycling Challenge and highlighted the importance of recycling in schools. GRC Chair Greg Johnson of The Sherwin-Williams Company also offered remarks on GRC’s efforts to help cities and local communities combat graffiti vandalism. In his comments, Johnson underscored the connection between the mural, graffiti prevention, and the business of art. He described how murals and street art can be an effective way for cities to combat graffiti vandalism because they are less likely to be tagged out of respect for the art, the artist, and the community — one approach espoused by GRC. Murals also provide an outlet for street artists to express themselves in a responsible and legal way.
Greg Johnson then introduced Tyler Story who delivered a meaningful presentation on how young adults can get started working in the arts industry. Tyler spoke about how he got involved in street art and shared visual representations of some of his recent projects, including the GRC-NCSL mural. After his presentation, Tyler answered questions from eager students interested in learning more about his work and style of art.
The day ended with the mural unveiling and a tour of the school by students. Heidi McAuliffe, GRC executive director, and Rhett Cash, GRC advocacy counsel, were also in attendance during the presentations and mural ceremony. GRC hopes that this mural will serve as an educational and inspirational piece for young adults as an example of what they can do with art.
To learn more about GRC, visit http://www.anti-graffiti.org/.
To learn more about KCB, visit https://keepcabeautiful.org/.