Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Graffiti is a recognized art form
TO THE EDITORS:
It is beauty and a positive outlet for a sometimes negatively viewed art form that Hempfield School District wishes to demonstrate in its plan to implement a "graffiti" mural on an exterior wall of the school. This is the same project mentioned by Mr. Ralph Lindsey in his letter to the editor, Jan. 23, "Does Hempfield need a graffiti course?"
Hempfield does not have a graffiti course, but we have made a commitment to focus on relevant and constructive means of engaging young minds. While graffiti arts are historically rooted in unlawful approaches, it has grown into a legal art form that has engaged many artists and triggered contemporary galleries and museums to recognize the potential of spray paint as a valid medium.
Education is tasked with inspiring students to want to learn even if they may have made unfortunate choices (as with the freshmen student Mr. Lindsey references from four years ago). We are proud to say that this student has now spent four years studying art and a variety of painting and drawing techniques due to our efforts to embrace him and his interests in the graffiti arts. His engagement in his overall education at Hempfield has grown and brought him outstanding success in all of his classes.
Should we educate our students with archaic viewpoints from the good old days and simply treat their ever-evolving interests and passions as annoyances or do we persist, grow and engage young minds in new ideas and fresh ways of looking at old problems?
We also ask the newspaper to print color photos of our results. Any chance to educate the public toward artful understandings is a move in the right direction.
Art Department Supervisor
Hempfield School District