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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Greater Clayton Smyrna Boys and Girls Club's youth ‘rock’ out

  • To many people the term “graffiti” is a nasty little word that bears a diabolical connation. Jordan Sinclair, 12, was guilty of sharing negative feelings towards graffiti, saying, “Graffiti… I look at it on the streets and I don’t like it.” But that was until he realized there are legal and positive ways to use the craft.


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  • To many people the term “graffiti” is a nasty little word that bears a diabolical connation. Jordan Sinclair, 12, was guilty of sharing negative feelings towards graffiti, saying, “Graffiti… I look at it on the streets and I don’t like it.” But that was until he realized there are legal and positive ways to use the craft.
    Since the last week of September, Jen Polillo, a teaching artist for Pegasus Artworks the art program for the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware, based in Claymont has visited Sinclair and his peers at the Greater Clayton Smyrna Boys & Girls Club to teach them a course on street art. The 12-week curriculum is designed to educate youth on legal street art techniques that include non-aerosol methods such as chalk, paint, green graffiti (crafting images using moss or grass) and markers.
    On Friday, Oct. 7, the youth were on the club’s blacktop learning how to create “rock monsters,” a technique where artists draw faces on rocks using paint or markers.
    The rock monsters are designed to be a “fun” and “unexpected” way to “wake people up,” Polillo said. “If it’s in unexpected places and it catches your eye, it might make you think: ‘Why is that there?’ Or it might make you smile.”
    For Skylar Peacock, 13, the craft compelled her to do the latter.
    Smyrna Greater Clayton Smyrna Boys & Girls Club
    INFO bgclubs.org or call 659-5612
    She designed several rocks including one she colored blue, on which she wrote the following words: “Sky’s Monster!”
    Trisha Moses, director of the Clayton/Smyrna club, decided to bring the street art curriculum to the area because she felt the youth needed to experience more contemporary art, as opposed to the traditional art they can learn in school.
    “We’re just switching it up for the kids,” Moses said. “We try to be open minded, and think about the age group. That age group is the most challenging when it comes to maintaining their interest. You need to offer as many innovative and new things as you can. Anytime I hear about something new for them, I’m all over it.”
    Melena Credle, 12, designed a monster that resembled the infamous Ghostface from “Scream.” Credle explained her design wasn’t influenced by “Scream,” but rather another popular film. 
    “When I was drawing [rock monsters], I was thinking about ‘Monsters, Inc.,’ because it puts visions in my head of what the monsters look like,” Credle said. “I was thinking of something scary.”  
    Prior to designing her rock monster, Credle admitted she had never heard of the craft before, but she’s glad she has now.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I think it’s really cool because we’re being creative,” she said. “[Polillo’s] trying to teach us graffiti.”
    Sinclair wanted to draw a “zombie-like” face on his rock, so he used: white, pink and the color red to make that happen. And it didn’t work. In the end Sinclair thought his rock looked more “chameleon-like,” if anything. Nonetheless, he said he’s proud of the finished product.
    As for why he decided to create a rock zombie, the 12-year-old said his decision was simple: “Well, they eat human guts.”