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Youth to Take Outdoor Graffiti Art Classes Through CRYP

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Eagle Butte, South Dakota—The Cheyenne River Youth Project will soon open its new outdoor art park. To launch the new space, CRYP will be offering the Art of Creative Lettering classes with renowned graffiti artist Peyton Russell. The classes are open to 10 students ages 10-15 and will be offered from May 12-16, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The week will conclude with an art show on Saturday, May 17 from nnon to 3 p.m. at the new park. The graffiti wall and outdoor art space will be open to teens to create works of their own, and art supplies for the classes will be provided by CRYP.

“We think the community could benefit from setting up a space for kids to express themselves with art,” said Julie Garreau, executive director of CRYP. “Every community needs an open space to for the kids to reflect who they are and the world around them. We hope that these classes will give them the confidence and inspiration to explore their artistic freedom.”

“Graffiti is an art form, just like any other,” says Tammy Eagle Hunter, who is youth programs director for CRYP and also an artist herself. “It can be a really positive outlet for kids to be able to get outside and paint, make mistakes and try new things and learn that art is art - it doesn’t have to be in a frame to call it art.”

Aerosol artist Peyton Russell got involved with graffiti starting in 1984 at age 14 after watching the documentary film Style Wars about the graffiti art on New York subway trains. In 1987 his portfolio of graffiti-influenced work mixed with traditional art earned his acceptance into the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, where he majored in print making and practiced graffiti outside the institution. After graduating in 1991, Russell moved back to Minneapolis and opened House of Daskarone—a gallery, studio, print shop and education center. The House of Daskarone later, in 1995, gave birth to Juxtaposition Arts, where Russell and other artists taught aerosol art next to other forms of visual arts—one of many first in the Twin Cities area. Russell resigned from the organization in 2008 to pursue other personal interests. Today he is a Bush Fellowship recipient and designs curriculums and lesson plans that help bring graffiti art into the class room setting with theory and artistic foundations.

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“[This CRYP class] is focused on the advancement and development of Graffiti Art and its esthetic value as an educational program,” Peyton wrote on his website. “This program seeks out support by building partnerships with artists, teachers, business owners, city officials, arts organizations, community leaders, parents, and students to address and discuss culture, opportunity, possibility and the process of graffiti writing for teaching its artistic principles.”

For more information or to sign up for the class, contact Pamela Stolz at For more information about Peyton Russell and his work, check out

Check out the following video of Russell working with Washburn High School students on a large-scale art project focusing on typography, personal expression and the importance of names: