Hyper creative: Pro graffiti artists coming to Everett
to show and share their talent over four days
Jacob Kerst photo
Everett Rise is a mural created by graffiti artists Hyper, Faust and Spawk at the last Paint Jam event in Everett. The mural is painted 100% by spray paint and was a collaboration, made in stages by the three artists. It was a commission piece for the business that the wall belongs to, Screen Printing Northwest at 2526 Colby Ave.
EVERETT — On Aug. 4-7, an all-day Paint Jam event is coming to Everett, bringing with it the creation of 30 new murals throughout the city. Going All City NW 2022 has events taking place from 8 a.m. until sunset each day.
The event will have multiple different kinds of activities such as meeting artists, live mural paintings, graffiti art battles, a lot party, music, food trucks and a Youth Go Paint Day Mural on Aug. 6, which parents can sign kids up for through the Everett Public Library. Going All City is being organized by the graffiti crew GAK, which is comprised of members from both the United States and Mexico, in collaboration with the Downtown Everett Association, the city of Everett and the Schack Art Center. The event calendar, as well as an interactive mural map, can be found online at www.schack.org/events/going-all-city/
“Going All City is an event to uplift and invigorate the community, as artists donate time and materials to bring vibrancy and beauty to Everett,” said Brianna Mattes, Hype Murals Event Coordinator.
The event will feature mural paintings by more than 150 different artists over the course of the four days, with artists flying and driving in from multiple states as well as Mexico. Many of these artists are long-time members of the graffiti community, so there is a strong sense of camaraderie involved. The event is invite-only, meaning that only the most qualified within the profession were asked to come.
One of the longtime members of the graffiti community, a known name amongst the other artists as well as a key to the creation of this event, is a Snohomish local who goes by the name Hyper. He started in the graffiti community in 1988 and was one of the first names to bring the art to Washington state from California in the 1980s.
“He is top of the food chain as far as this state and the Pacific Northwest. He is what they call an OG of this area, having been one of the original people who brought graffiti to Washington state over three decades ago,” said Mattes.
Hyper is an involved member of the local graffiti community, having hosted a previous Paint Jam in Everett which saw the creation of many of the city’s best murals around downtown. Hyper wants to change the public view on graffiti and remove the current stigma behind the art. He teaches the history of graffiti as well as the art form to newcomers and peers.
“It’s important for the public to learn about graffiti because, without knowledge about the art form and the community, the art form can and has been demonized,” Mattes said.
Graffiti is an art that requires great skill and practice, as well as moving up in skill level within the community, according to Hyper. While some people instantly think of tagging buildings when they hear of graffiti, the art form is so much broader than that, with highly skilled graffiti artists having
skills compared to that of a fine arts painter. Graffiti artists are able to create all different kinds of works including large, vibrant and detailed murals, all done by spray can.
“Graffiti is a form of personal expression, like any art form. It’s a rebellion
from the normal art forms, and an ‘acting out’ by people who have grown up on perhaps the ‘wrong side of the tracks’, who are persecuted, looked down upon, and thought less of by society,” said Mattes.
The graffiti community has a rich history that has kept the artists close-knit over time, according to Hyper. The artists follow a set of ethics and work to make sure that they are supporting each other in their art. Each new artist starts out by writing their name with the spray can, moving into more detailed writings, until finally reaching the point in which they can achieve large productions and murals. Being an active part of the community and finding a mentor within it is an important piece to start learning.
“The history of Graffiti IS what graffiti means to graffiti artists. None take up the craft without knowing and feeling the hard knocks history in their own life,” said Mattes. “Its origins, its reasons for being, are what drive these artists to this craft because it is their voice. It is the voice that fits their life and their world. It’s the community that they live and thrive in. It’s the mentors they look up to and the camaraderie found on the walls. Graffiti is their life. It’s not just a skill or craft. It’s the life they live in. The world they live in.”
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