A collective of graffiti artists from around the world will converge once again in South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Lakota reservation for the third annual RedCan Graffiti Jam. The RedCan is Rising event is a celebration of Lakota culture utilizing the artistry of graffiti as a medium.
The RedCan Graffiti Jam event is the creation of the Cheyenne River Youth Project, a grassroots, not-for-profit organization founded in 1988 that is dedicated to providing for the youth of the Cheyenne River reservation.
The event brings graffiti artists from all over the world to display their skills on select locations throughout Eagle Butte. RedCan has grown so much in popularity and received so much support online in terms of donations that the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park has been improved with new walls, more lighting, and a completed walking path.
“When we first came up with the idea for the RedCan Graffiti Jam in late 2014, we thought it would be a one-time event, perhaps two years at most,” said Julie Garreau, CRYP’s executive director in a release.
According to the Cheyenne River Youth Project, more than half of the headlining graffiti artists have indigenous heritage, including Taino, Hawaiian, O’odham, Yacqui, Cherokee and Lakota.
The featured graffiti artists this year are Estria from Hawaii; East from Denver, Serval from Switzerland, Scribe from Kansas City, Scape Martinez from San Francisco, Kazilla and ER from Miami; Dwayno Insano from Arizona; and Biafra Inc. and Cyfi and Wundr from Minnesota.
In addition, Ojibwe rapper Tall Paul, and Lakota hip-hop artists Dakota South will perform. The Cheyenne River Youth Project is also hosting an extensive Lakota dance exhibition.
“During RedCan, you’ll see children learning new skills at the Rolling Rez Art Bus or painting walls in Waniyetu Wowapi. You’ll see our teen interns exhibiting their work in the Cokata Wiconi (Center of Life) teen center. You’ll see Lakota dancers honoring their heritage amid a backdrop of stunning contemporary artwork, and you’ll see members of our community visiting with the artists at sites across town,” said Garreau.
“It’s remarkable, the impact that RedCan has. At its heart, it’s all about cultural exchange, reconciliation and healing, as much as demonstrating to our children that they can explore their identities and express themselves in a healthy way that lifts up their nation. It’s hard to put into words. You can only understand RedCan if you experience it.”
The event is open to the public. Lodging is available at area motels and CRYP is offering camping for up to 100 people at its East Lincoln Street campus.
CRYP is asking for support from RedCan fans. Simply visit www.lakotayouth.org, click “Donate Now,” and include the note “RedCan 2017.” All proceeds will be used to purchase paint, artist supplies, food and beverages, and to help cover the artists’ travel expenses. For more information on how to help support RedCan, contact organizers at email@example.com.
To share on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, use the hashtag #RedCanRising.
The RedCan gathering, scheduled for June 29-July 1 at CRYP’s Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Art Park and at sites throughout the Eagle Butte community.
Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) – ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor –