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Graffiti Jam at Mural Festival Celebrates Street Art, Community

"There's a lot more going on in Vancouver right now. I'm glad Vancouver has started something like that." — Jnasty

Graffiti artist Theme works on a creation at the Holden Courage Graffiti Jam as part of the Vancouver Mural Festival in Vancouver on Saturday.
Theme created by graffiti artist Holden Courage Graffiti Saturday in Vancouver Jam as part of the Vancouver Mural Festival.

The rattling of spray cans and the smell of paint wafted down the alley west of Mine and his E. I drew five people from Meter part on the wall of the parking lot.

Brightly colored, and often highly abstract, characters in pinks, blues, and yellows sculpted across a wall painted black. . On an adjacent purple-and-red background wall was a large black-and-white portrait of a smiling young man, his name spelled out in two-foot-tall white letters: Holden.

This scene was the venue for the 5th Annual Holden Courage Graffiti Jam. It is now a regular part of theVancouver Mural Festival. In 2015 he died at the age of 21, a young graffiti artist Holden in memory of his college.

Said local graffiti artist Jnastywho organized the artists for this year's graffiti jam. "They asked if someone like me could get some artists together - and that's what we did."

Since graffiti is illegal, all artists spoken to for this article requested that they be identified only by their graffiti tag name.

Graffiti artist Jnasty works on a creation at the Holden Courage Graffiti Jam as part of the Vancouver Mural Festival in Vancouver on Saturday.
Her Jnasty, a graffiti artist, at Holden Courage We are working on creating a graffiti jam as part of the Vancouver Mural Festival in Vancouver on Saturday.

This project is funded by the Holden Courage Memorial Fund for Artists. After Courage's death, his mother Tara McGuire.

In her 2017 blog post, McGuire explained what doodling means to her son. I am writing about

"Holden loved to graffiti," she wrote. "He loved everything about it: creativity, smells, friendship, rebellion, music, danger, color, risk and thrill." 

Native of Hawaii Her Jnasty of said she has been painting for about 25 years. He appreciates the memorial and mural festival's efforts to promote her art on the streets around Vancouver.

"There's more going on in Vancouver right now," he says of street art, and cities like Toronto have bigger streets. I pointed out that there is an art culture. "I'm glad Vancouver has started doing something like that."

Tars, who has been painting, agreed, noting that local street artists find it difficult to find opportunities. 

"Vancouver doesn't give graffiti writers a lot of opportunities," he said. "This event is a really good opportunity to do our own thing."

Graffiti artist Tars works on a creation at the Holden Courage Graffiti Jam as part of the Vancouver Mural Festival in Vancouver on Saturday.
Graffiti artist Taaz works at Holden Kurage A graffiti jam will be held on Saturday as part of the Vancouver Mural Festival in Vancouver. Photo Credit: Jason Payne /PNG

Viral, a local graffiti artist who has been painting since the late 80's Although he acknowledged concerns about gentrification, he appreciated the opportunity to revisit early passions and connect with old friends.

139} "I can't do this much. I have other responsibilities now," he said. "So for me, it's just getting together with friends."

He noted that large-scale public art works add value not only to neighborhoods, but property prices as well. . "I think artists should be compensated for it." 

The Victoria-based graffiti artist said that the festival he participated in twice He said he was impressed by the impact the festival had on his neighborhood.

"Every year there is a new [mural] going up," he said. "The changes it has made to the city are crazy."

Graffiti artist Virus works on a creation at the Holden Courage Graffiti Jam as part of the Vancouver Mural Festival in Vancouver on Saturday.
Graffiti artist Virus works at Holden The Courage Graffiti Jam will be held on Saturday as part of the Vancouver Mural Festival in Vancouver. Photo credits: Jason Payne /PNG

All the artists Postmedia spoke to were festive.

"I haven't seen them in a year," Wills said. "We've been through some crazy times, and now we're here."

ngriffiths@postmedia.com

twitter.com/njgriffiths

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