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Graffiti Art

Jolene Janus, Staff Reporter

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Graffiti in a school. The automatic first thought is something not so legal, probably done by students. However, this is very much not the case with Josh Nelson. He’s been a graffiti artist for about 16, 17 years, since his days as a junior at Green Mountain High. Now, he’s returned to graffiti the shipping container outside of the auditorium, around the back of the school.

 

The shipping container was a gift from Lighthouse Church, specifically Josh Shaw, the pastor. The huge container was given to relieve GM’s theatre of some of its storage problems. The container arrived, but with a bit of a problem. It was rusty and not very pleasing to the eye. When Barb Amberg, the theatre teacher at Green Mountain saw the condition of the container, she said, “This is not the coolest…” But then she added, “…it’s a big canvas.” She had an idea. She called a friend of hers, whose nephew is an artist. One thing led to another, and soon Josh Nelson was hired by the school to graffiti the storage unit. Amberg was stoked. “He paints things that are ugly and makes them beautiful,” she smiled. Then she added, “He promised me it would be sick.”

 

The project was about eight hours of work in graffiting, although it might’ve taken a fair bit longer since Nelson’s arrival was the highlight of the school’s day. Classes came from all around the school to ask him questions and watch his work. The artist’s finished piece consists of the ram logo facing Louisiana Street, the tragedy-comedy mask symbol facing the theatre’s bay doors, a lighthouse facing the tennis courts, and Nelson’s personal take on the project facing the science classrooms: a giant ‘Rams.’ The graffiti is amazing, and changes the entire aura around the once-ugly shipping container.

 

When asked about his line of work in graffiting, Nelson laughed, “I used to get in trouble for this stuff back in the day and now I’m getting hired to do it, so it’s pretty cool.” He added that being an artist isn’t exactly the easiest thing to be in the world. Because it’s not. “You’re not always making money off of [art]; it’s a difficult industry to figure out how to make a full time job out of it…Sometimes you gotta put in a lot of work,” he explained. “[But] that’s what you want your art to do, is to be a referral for yourself. You want it to speak for yourself, people will know that it’s you.”

 

Hopefully he’ll be back to do another piece for the school, likely the athletic department. “I do art all the time. You are always a full-time artist, so to speak.” Nelson grinned. And for everyone, he advised, “Don’t stop doing what you want to do. Just do it. Go get it. You should probably get it now rather than later.”

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The student news site of Green Mountain High School
Graffiti Art