Tag Archives: graffiti garages

Beat, Graff, Break, Rap – Summer Workshops at FABITAT!

1 Jul
The Life Program - Free summer classes at Fabitat

The L.I.F.E. Program – Free summer workshops at FABITAT

Back at it, Spaceworks alumni Fab-5 are hosting The L.I.F.E. Program this summer.  “Living In Free Expression” is a fun, empowering opportunity for youth to make the most of their summer days.  Fab-5 describe it as “an intensive series of urban arts workshops designed to allow youth to develop and explore their unique voices through a variety of different mediums.”  This year’s workshops include:

Break Dancing
Legal Graffiti
Production/Beat Making

Tons of talent has bloomed from the past LIFE summer series.  The quality of education in the arts coming out of this program is impressive.  From community murals, to break dance performances, radio shows, fundraisers, and food drives students from this program have taken their work out into the community and truly made a mark on this town.

The program is free and open to all youth.  Starting at 11am sharp, each summer saturday, workshops run for three hours and include hands-on instruction and discussion with healthy snacks provided.   All workshops take place at FABITAT located at 1316 MLK Way, Tacoma, WA 98405.  Click here to register.

“Fab-5 believes that youth are the ones who influence others to change, and by empowering youth via self-expression, Fab-5 builds solid leaders and community minded individuals through mentorship, leadership and positive role models.”


Fab-5 Ups the Ante with FABITAT

8 Jun

“The Motherboard” by Fab-5. Commissioned by the Intel Corporation, April 2010.

The City of Tacoma has a surprisingly cozy relationship with graffiti art, one that is embraced in many aspects by Mayor Marilyn Strickland, the Tacoma Arts Commission and a range of community organizations. More importantly, it is supported by members of a discerning public who are able to distinguish between the kind of deft, freestyle wall spraying (e.g., mural painting) that helps snatch buildings back from the edge of urban blight, from the type that illegally defaces properties, scaring the neighbors.

Maestros in the making: Fab-5 students choreograph a live "scratch" routine on turntables.

One of the most stunning local examples of sanctioned graffiti is The Garages on Tacoma’s Antique Row – an organically mutating, covered-parking-lot-slash-art-gallery where for years taggers and commuters have coexisted peacefully. In 2008, enforcement officials deemed The Garages’ surreal artworks “graffiti” in violation of City code, and the building’s owners, Lorig & Associates, were ordered to paint them over. But through the efforts of the property owners, local nonprofit Fab-5, and Tacoma’s Safe and Clean Team, in 2009, The Garages’ three large parking bays were legally reopened to artists working under the classification of “free form painting.”  Such aerosol paint-friendly venues are known in street parlance as “free walls.” Far from becoming a magnet for gang activity, as detractors feared, The Garages have instead become Tacoma’s most beguiling, unsung museum hosting the explosive yet phantom-like imagery (here today, gone tomorrow) of some of the country’s most skilled street artists. And, you can still park there.

Not a blank slate: a community effort saved The Garages' murals (many created by unknown artists), from oblivion.

Eddie Sumlin, Chris Jordan and Kenji Stoll form the core of the art group known as Fab-5; they are best known for their color-slashed, acidic graffiti murals that cover indoor/outdoor walls all over town. A fourth member, Program Associate Katie Lowery, is the group’s strategic and administrative lead. Continue reading

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