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Artist Trains SF 5th Graders in Legal Street Art

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It’s not everyday elementary school kids get a lesson in how to make and decorate their neighborhood with their own art, but this week in San Francisco the mean streets of The Richmond got signed bombed with locally made street art, and I personally hope this leads to more SF kids creating and proliferating their creativity in a positive way.

Earlier this year Tinker Preschool invited SF Street artist fnnch to address their class and the artist suggested they have the children create art on 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper, and then to tape them to poles around a neighborhood. As a way of empowering the children to put their artwork into the public sphere in a legal way, as well as helping dispell the fear that people have of public art (“graffiti is dangerous” so to speak).

Last year fnnch used a clever method to decorate SF SOMA with his honey bears that was perfectly legal, ie “sign bombing” public lampposts with taped images that did not leave any permanent damage and could be removed as easily as they were installed.

Rosie the Riveter Honey Bear

In fnnch’s words, they were “excited by this idea, and the head of the Tinker School invited the 5th grade class from the Presidio Hill School to also participate. To be honest the preschoolers didn’t grasp the idea, but the 5th graders were fascinated by it and by my art, and they asked over an hour of questions. They then decided that, instead of just drawing pictures of anything they wanted, they would like to design their own honey bears. So I came back a week later with templates to do just that.”

Go Dubs!

The teacher, Taylor Garry, then laminated the drawings, added the legally required posting date to the bottom right-hand corner, and then she and the students taped them down and around Clement Street, the major thoroughfare of the neighborhood.

“The results blew me away. I was just shocked by both the creativity in concept and the technical skill in execution.” -fnnch

“I couldn’t be happier with this project. I’ve done several with children, but this is the first that seemed to make a substantial impact upon them. They were just so excited about it. And I’m still marveling at some of the designs.” -fnnch

fnnch would like to thank Devon Slawson for reaching out, to Miranda Pan for hosting and inviting the Presidio Day School, to Taylor Garry for her support and facilitation, and of course to all of the students for their incredible enthusiasm and creativity.

“All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.”
— Pablo Picasso

For more fnnch Follow him on instagram @fnnch


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