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Taggers Turned Artists - an Art Hop Event

posted Feb 4, 2013, 11:12 AM by Fresno BHC   [ updated Feb 7, 2013, 12:58 PM by Julio Zaldivar ]
Taggers Turned Artists Art Hop

A group of young men from various backgrounds are putting their sharpies, spray cans and street artistic abilities to good use, not on their traditional private property canvases, but on skateboards. Fresno's Alliance for Boys and Men of Color (Fresno BMoC), in partnership with Fresno BHC, have helped these budding artists and former taggers stay off the street and out of trouble, by using their unique talents to create one-of-a-kind masterpieces on wheels that will be the put on display at the next Fresno Art Hop next Thursday, February 7, 2013, from 5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Biz Werx Professional Center, 1600 Fulton Street in downtown Fresno. 


Since December 2012, 10 youth have worked on over 20 personalized skateboards, all inscribed with unique messages of hope and inspiration such as speaking against peer pressure or the use of drugs and alcohol.


"These young men come from different Fresno neighborhoods and they all need a creative outlet where they can express themselves freely and safely," explained Gregorio Montes de Oca, National Urban Fellow with Fresno's BMoC. "This art project gives them the opportunity to build relationships with others outside of their neighborhoods as well as teaching them about art and culture while keeping them out of trouble and off the streets."


The Skateboard Art Project, a partnership between Fresno's BMoC campaign, Fresno / Madera Youth for Christ and Fresno BHC, is funded by The California Endowment. Fresno's BMoC seeks to change the community's view of young men of color and stands committed to making sure that all young people have their fair shot to grow up healthy and successful. Over the next year, Fresno's BMoC and its partners will work to ensure these youth are physically and mentally healthy, living in safe neighborhoods, succeed in school and work, and possess leadership capacity to contribute to their families and communities, ultimately leading to systematic changes that will increase high school graduation rates and decrease numbers of young boys and men of color who enter the juvenile justice system.


"Our young men of color are falling through the cracks and, unfortunately, have a better chance earning their high school diploma in prison rather than from a traditional high school. These young men posses a unique talent that we should foster and guide," added Montes de Oca.


At Art Hop, the community will be able to meet with the young artists, learn about their pieces, as well as learn about the work of Fresno's Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and Fresno Building Healthy Communities. For more information on Fresno's Alliance for Boys & Men of Color, or about the skateboard art project exhibit, please contact Gregorio Montes de Oca at (559) 443-5311. 

Julio Zaldivar,
Feb 4, 2013, 11:15 AM