By Staff Reports
(Honolulu)- Students took Meth prevention into their own hands by participating in free “Spray Away Meth” art workshops sponsored by the Hawaii Meth Project and Kauai High School. The workshops were available to all middle and high school students on Kauai and featured world-renowned aerosol artist East3, who demonstrated his craft and provided the students with instruction on drawing techniques, basic design, and contemporary urban art. During the workshop students created their own murals centered on anti-Meth themes and messages. The murals will be displayed at schools around Kauai as an island-wide effort to raise awareness about the dangers of Meth.
“Every day I grow more impressed with the commitment that our students make statewide to taking a stand against Meth abuse in their own communities,” said David Earles, executive director of the Hawaii Meth Project. “Art is a powerful form of expression, and a positive means of communication. I am so thrilled with the murals that they have produced, and look forward to seeing the positive influence these pieces will have on the communities on Kauai and on all teens statewide.”
Trysen Kaneshige, a senior at Kauai High School, spearheaded the planning and coordination of “Spray Away Meth” working with the Hawaii Meth Project’s Teen Advisory Council members on Kauai who helped publicize the event within their own communities, recruited volunteers, and shared the Hawaii Meth Project’s Meth prevention message at the event. Teen Advisory Council members work with the Meth Project to help raise awareness about the risks of methamphetamine use, and provide a teen perspective on the prevention campaign’s strategies and messages. Council members on Kauai include:
• Jordan Balbin, 12th grade, Kauai High School
• Bryson Cayaban, 12th grade, Waimea High School
• Mae Ortega, 12th grade, Kapaa High School
“Meth is a huge problem here on Kauai and everyone seems to know someone who has been affected by the drug, so it’s really great to have an opportunity to work with the Hawaii Meth Project to make a positive difference in our own community,” said Kaneshige. “It isn’t very often that we get to learn about aerosol art first-hand and from a professional, and I believe that it can be used to tell any story. If you put that story or message on a wall, it becomes 100 times more powerful because everybody can see it and think about it. This is our way of encouraging others to join our fight against Meth.”
The first day of “Spray Away Meth” was devoted to high school students in grades nine through 12, and the second day was devoted to middle school students in grades 6 through 8. Students could choose from a variety of canvas sizes on which to create their works, and could either work independently or with their peers. In addition to the Kauai Economic Development Board, support for “Spray Away Meth” was received from the Maui Economic Development Board, the U.S. Department of Education, Stem Works, Marriott, and Women in Technology.
About the Hawaii Meth Project
The Hawaii Meth Project is a non-profit organization that implements large-scale, research-based campaigns and community action programs to reduce methamphetamine use in the state. Central to its integrated campaigns is MethProject.org—a definitive source for information about meth for teens. The Hawaii Meth Project is affiliated with The Partnership at Drugfree.org, a national non-profit organization working to help families solve the problem of teen substance abuse. For more information, visit Hawaii.MethProject.org.