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American Graffiti
Upcoming Exhibit

American Graffiti

June 25 – September 5

Main Gallery

From the Streets to Canvas

Graffiti Art is word-based, graphic art created with spray paint and other materials. It can be found on buildings, city walls, and trains all over the world. The art form emerged in the 1960's and '70's from inner city neighborhoods as a type of self-expression for urban youth. It gave a voice to the disenfranchised. Given its origins in illegal activity and characteristic interest in subversion and political and social action, Graffiti Art has always had a fraught relationship with the art world in general. It is rare for graffiti artists to be counted and appreciated in the mainstream art world; most are self-taught and do not profit from their work. Even still, the aesthetic of Graffiti Art has been incorporated in professional artists' work for years.

The planned exhibit at Schack Art Center will be the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.  American Graffiti features a one of a kind, comprehensive exposition of the genre. The exhibit will allow the community a rare public viewing of 85 spectacular Graffiti Art originals held in a private collection. These works come from artists from all over the country, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Boston, Seattle, and Phoenix.  The exhibit will feature the Earliest Writers (artists) of the 1970's, Freight Train Writers, Street Writers and works from the Freedom Tunnel.

The collection was created from 2003 through 2012 as the Collector invited 'writers' to his home to replicate their original art from walls, tunnels, and box cars onto 6' x 10' canvases. In this way, he preserved designs and artwork that most likely would get buffed from existence in their original locations. An example is graffiti from the Freedom Tunnel in New York, which is part of the representations that will be exhibited at Schack. The Collector decided that this art form should be documented in its original "street size" on canvases for future generations to study. The most important part of the Collection is the dedication of the 'writers' themselves. They travel hundreds of miles, risking going to jail, just to express themselves and have their work be seen. Many of these 'writers' have created a tremendous body of work that, without the support of the Collector, would otherwise be lost.