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UNControllables host spray paint workshop

The street art workshop put on by the student-run organization known as the UNControllables and started off with an introduction to the difference in the meaning and implication of “street art” and “graffiti."

All students were invited to join the workshop, regardless of experience level.

After a brief discussion on these differences, the presentation moved on to the different forms of art that are used, some of which include spray painting, wheat-pasting and stickers.

The meeting was then moved outside where participants received a briefing on the different types of spray paint and the cap sizes of these cans, which affect the size of the strokes in the spray.

Participants were then shown the proper use of wheat paste, created by first-year students Taylor Pittman and Suad Jabr.

During the presentation of the effect of wheat-pasting — a sugar, flower and water adhesive that is usually used with thin paper and is hard to remove, Jabr described how wheat paste was created and how to properly apply a paper using the paste to attach it to the wall of your choice. 

“If you’re doing old-school wheat paste, which is the kind we are using here, you’ll probably mess it up a few times — a lot actually," Jabr said. "There was one time that we made a batch, and it turned out so terrible and gelatinous.”

Jabr said this is a very specific process.

“One big thing is when you are making it — if you do it over a stovetop — is to keep stirring it and keep adding water.”

Sophomore Andrew Clark had never heard of wheat-pasting before, but he said found it interesting after learning about the process.

“I didn’t know that was a thing, but it’s awesome. The only thing I have done with (art) is I’ve taken a series of abstract painting that were oil and canvas and repurposed them with spray paint, but I haven’t done anything through the medium of actual street art," he said. "So using some of this stuff to do something on a sidewalk or the walls of a building would be really cool.”

Sophomore and workshop organizer Mitch Xia said the art she performs shouldn't be labeled as "graffiti."

“I don’t do graffiti. What I do is probably most accurately called, 'messing around with paint,'" she said. "I’ve always really loved art, and one day, I stumbled across this medium known as spray paint, and it was really awesome because it dries really fast, and I have no patience, so I got really into that."

Xia also said there are specific dos and don'ts of spray painting.

“I just think the biggest don’t is that there aren't really any rules about it, because I think the beauty of street art is that it's not something that is taught in art classes," she said. "It’s something that is created by people, most of whom don’t have some form of artistic training and is just created spontaneously for a lot of different reasons.”


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