Students, street artists and community activists made their way to the campus of Northern Kentucky University to raise money for a good cause and ask a socially-minded question in the process.
The school hosted the first GraffitiFest on Wednesday, an event featuring 12 local artists creating live graffiti art to benefit local and international charities. It also featured live music, food and even "mainstreamed" by showcasing many of the school's young entrepreneurs.
Video from the event is available in the media player above.
In front of NKU's Griffin Hall, each graffiti artist used various tools ranging from standard paint to spray paint to come up with an original work under the theme of "relief."
The 4-foot by 8-foot paintings are sold at the end of the day via silent auction, and proceeds will benefit the artists and four charities: the American Red Cross, Visionaries and Voices, Revive the Heart and ArtWorks.
"These charities each represent a unique perspective on the event's theme - relief," according to event organizer Jason Hulett, 31, a senior at the school.
"The Red Cross provides disaster relief and health and safety training all over the world; Visionaries and Voices is a local charity that helps artists with disabilities create and display their work; Revive the Heart is a non-profit that seeks to raise awareness about sex-trafficking through performance arts; and ArtWorks is a nonprofit that employs and trains young artists to prepare them for their careers."
In addition to raising money for a myriad of good causes, the event also offered the chance to exhibit an oft-belittled and socially rebuked form of creative expression.
"It's a way to show off graffiti in a positive light and show how it can help enhance the community instead of treating it down," Hulett said.
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