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Reverse Graffiti Kona accentuates the positive

Putting the finishing touches on one of the seven panels. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

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Video by David Corrigan | Big Island Video News

When Krush was growing up, he had a bad habit. Today, he has a career.

Krush, along with fellow professional spray can artist Prime, brought his art skills to his adopted hometown for a two-day workshop and contest. The project was designed to promote anti-vandalism and creative expression.

“When I was a kid, I had a lot of anger and nowhere to go with it,” he said. “Graffiti spray can art became my addiction, my passion. It got me a scholarship to San Francisco Art Institute.”

Krush said the art form grew out of the hip hop culture.

“There’s a life to this like nothing else. It’s an energy that came out of hip hop,” he said. “They used to go out and fight each other. This gave them a way to fight that was creative – fighting with spray cans, break dancing, microphones, skateboards.”

Having a creative outlet is important for youth, Krush said.

“You have to give them an outlet in a productive way and let them express themselves uncensored,” he said. “What are they gonna do otherwise?”

About 55 teens showed up for Friday’s workshop, which covered the history, techniques, ethics, and health hazards of spray can art. On Saturday, six teams aimed their spray cans at a series of 12-foot-long panels, which will be displayed on the Konawaena High School campus.

Later Saturday, a dozen youngsters tried to out-dance each other in the break dancing contest.

Kealakehe High School student Shannon Wong organized the event as her senior project.

“This is about being anti-graffiti and pro creativity,” Wong said. “We want to open Kona up to a different energy and a different art form that they might not know about.”

Wong said she had help and donations from Donkey Mill Art Center, Lowe’s and The Hawaii Meth Project.

Kona's professional spray can artist Krush. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Krush and Prime do their thing. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

The aftermath. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Spinning. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

More spinning. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

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