LIHU‘E — A wall of “Dreams” discussed by Kaua‘i High School Principal Debbie Lindsey and senior Trysen Kaneshige could not be dampened by the showers which accompanied the passing of a weather front Thursday and Friday.
Spawned by the “Believe in Dreams” wall Kaneshige is working on as a senior project, the island’s other middle- and high-school students were invited to learn from visiting artists East3 and Ras One, of Las Vegas.
“It isn’t very often that we get to learn about aerosol art first-hand and from a professional,” Kaneshige said in a release from Hawai‘i Meth Project. “I believe aerosol art can be used to tell any story. If you put that story, or message, on a wall, it becomes 100 times more powerful because everybody can see it and think about it. This is our way of encouraging others to join our fight against Meth.”
East3, in explaining aerosol art to high- and middle-school students, said a big difference between graffiti and art is “encouragement.”
Kaneshige overlapped his senior project of filling a wall with dreams and working with the Hawai‘i Meth Project’s Kaua‘i Council members Jordan Balbin, Bryson Cayaban and Mae Ortega in pulling together “Spray Away Meth,” a free art workshop for students who use what they learn to create anti-meth messages and murals to be displayed at Kaua‘i’s schools.
“Every day, I grow more impressed with the commitment our students make statewide to taking a stand against meth abuse in their own communities,” said David Earles, executive director of the Hawai‘i Meth Project who visited the workshops Thursday.
“Art is a powerful form of expression, and a positive means of communication,” he said. “I am so thrilled with the murals the students have produced and look forward to seeing the positive influence these pieces will have on the communities on Kaua‘i and on all teens statewide.”
Colby Takeda, program manager for Hawai‘i Meth Project, said more and more positive art is appearing on school walls around the state, and he was pleased with not only the workshop, but with Kaneshige’s “Believe in Dreams” wall which sprouted on a wall during the spring break.
“Meth is a huge problem here on Kaua‘i and everyone seems to know someone who has been affected by the drug, so it’s really great to have an opportunity to work with the Hawai‘i Meth Project to make a positive difference in our own community,” Kaneshige said.
The two-day workshop featuring artists East3 and Ras, who have been working with Kaneshige on the “Believe in Dreams” wall was made possible through an Aloha Ike grant administered through the Kaua‘i Economic Development Board, said Leah Aiwohi, Kaneshige’s senior project advisor.
Other sponsors include the Maui Economic Development Board, the U. S. Department of Education, Stem Works, Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and Beach Club, Women in Technology, and numerous local community sponsors.
Visit www.Hawaii.MethProject.org for more information.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.