How Did We Celebrate Our One-Year Anniversary?

One Year Anniversary at Lahaina Boys and Girls Club

To celebrate working with the Hawaii Meth Project for one year, we visited the location of the very first mural we created with the Hawaii Meth Project’s message — Not Even Once — here in Hawaii. The Not Even Once Mural Project  promotes a meth-free life and raises awareness about meth at Hawaii schools and youth centers. To commemorate this anniversary Keep It Flowing muralists Trysen Kaneshige and Ken Nishimura visited the site of the very first Not Even Once mural. This inaugural mural can be found at The Boys and Girls Club in Lahaina, Maui. Both artists added more fish to the ocean mural. While they were painting at the Club, they reconnected with the youth and the staff. They also led free art workshop which was conducted by Kaneshige. We are happy that the youth that visit this club daily, approximately 100 youth on average, are exposed to this important message. Many thanks to BGC Director Danae Marin, Uncle Joe and Sule for inviting us back to the BGC Lahaina Club! Read more about our anniversary here: http://mauitvnews.com/blog/tag/lahaina-boys-and-girls-club/

Five Good Reasons to Keep Creating Anti-Meth Murals at Hawaii Schools and Youth Centers

East3 painting a male uhu.

East3 painting a male uhu.

Tomorrow we will unveil our 10th anti-meth mural at Kohala High School on the northern coast of the island of Hawaii. In twelve months we’ve completed ten Not Even Once Murals statewide thanks to the support of many individuals, businesses and organizations. Here are five reasons why we should keep creating more anti-meth murals.

 

  1. Our anti-meth murals stimulate dialogue about a critical issue that currently affects the wellbeing of our state. During the past three weeks we’ve been on tour painting anti-meth murals, there have been numerous news reports and features about meth dealing and addiction in Hawaii including these:

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/28198062/man-receives-12-year-prison-sentence-for-molokai-meth-ring

http://mauinow.com/2015/02/23/7-7-pounds-of-meth-found-in-hilo-drug-bust/

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/28265661/sources-mental-illness-and-meth-use-made-freeway-jumper-very-unstable

http://www.midweek.com/hawaii-medical-advice/doctor-in-the-house/psychiatry-meth-addiction/

 

  1. Our mural-creation process builds bridges of activism. These anti-meth murals are just one piece of a larger program that raises awareness about the dangers of meth use through in class presentations and rallies organized by the Hawaii Meth Project. Students get involved in leading and organizing anti-meth rallies and other events to raise awareness about the dangers of meth at their schools and in their communities.

 

  1. Our anti-meth murals transform spaces into places where students hang out, take pictures and stage events. They beautify school grounds and add bright, uplifting splashes of color for the enjoyment of all at a minimal to no cost to schools.

 

  1. Our work shows youth one effective way of how to use art to raise awareness about critical social and cultural issues that impact our community.

 

  1. We use the restorative power of art to help break the cycle of crime and violence in our communities.

Our Visit to James Campbell High School

20150215_120546

Over President’s Day weekend we spent Sunday and Monday spray painting a 14 foot high by 25 foot wide wood-paneled wall on a building at the largest high school in the state. On really high portions of the wall, Lead Muralist, Ken (East 3) Nishimura and Trysen (TKay2) Kaneshige stood on ten foot ladders painting with great balance while Aranzazu (Atres) Ascunce and Akira (Akira1) Woods served as support, holding ladders, with great focus.

IMG_2851

 

IMG_2887

We used the Campbell High School colors, orange and black, to highlight the words as a display of team spirit. We also acknowledged the statue of the birth of Ka’ahupahau (Kazu Fukada) at the school’s main entrance by painting our first two sharks in any NEOMP mural. You will find one shark on the right by East3, a hammerhead that feels like it’s hovering over you when you stand next to the wall, and the shadow of a tiger shark on the left by Tkay2.

20150217_123005

One little girl that stopped by while we painted thought we should build a gate around the mural to protect it. Hopefully, two layers of a UV matte coat and an appreciation and respect for the love and sweat that went into the mural, will preserve this underwater Not Even Once mural for years to come.

 

Hopefully, it will also inspire Campbell High School students, faculty and staff to create more murals on campus! We are grateful for the opportunity to paint at CHS. Everyone was so kind and friendly! We hope the mural will work on many levels for all. Ares

The Main Message: Not Even Once

IMG_2893

The main message of the Not Even Once Mural Project is to prevent Hawaii youth from trying methamphetamines. The way our team at Keep It Flowing communicates this sensitive message is visually. We paint a mural, centrally located on a school, or youth center, (exterior or interior) wall with the message: Not Even Once. This is the meth prevention message of the Hawaii Meth Project, the local chapter of a national non-profit. These three words – Not Even Once – stand in the center of the mural. We surround these words with backgrounds chosen by school principals and vice-principals after several discussions with the artists and organizers. Since the project began one year ago, most schools have chosen an underwater theme. Another popular theme is school spirit. So far, we have painted eight Not Even Once murals on four Hawaiian Islands. This Spring 2015 season, our third tour, we will paint four more anti-meth murals statewide. We unveiled the first mural of this season at James Campbell High School in Ewa Beach on Oahu this past Wednesday. Please read my next post about the creating and unveiling of Campbell High School’s Not Even Once mural. Atres

IMG_2849

IMG_2870

20150215_165535

The Benefits of Water

 

water

The other day I sent my brother a picture of me holding a puppy at the pet store. He asked me what I was doing to look so young, “You look like a kid!” he said. My initial response was that being in love surely has something to do with it! I also believe that drinking 16 ounces of water at room temperature, first thing in the morning, before I drink or eat anything else, has been hugely beneficial to my overall wellness. Every since I started this practice, I’ve noted many health benefits. Starting your day this way lubricates your body so it can it can perform more efficiently. It helps your body rid itself out what no longer serves you. It prepares the way for meals and beverages. It moisturizes your skin! It’s not always the first thing you want to do in the morning, but I’ve made it a habit because I know it’s great for me. Lately, one of my doctors told me that drinking three liters of water is too much. She also recommend that I drink it slowly throughout the day rather than chugging. It’s also possible that too much water can cause harm. The important thing is just to make sure you’re drinking water. Atres

Introducing Trysen Kaneshige of TKay2 Designs

tkaypainting

Five years ago Ken Nishimura, founder of Keep It Flowing, taught a calligraphy/handstyle workshop in Kauai where Trysen was one of his students. Trysen was 15 then. Now, Ken mentors him on the ins-and-outs of organizing a statewide mural program. Trysen is part of our Mentorship Program where we teach skills as diverse as fundraising, project management and mural painting. Ken also coaches Trysen in developing public speaking, presentation and organizational skills. Through NEOMP, Trysen has already witnessed the power of art as a vehicle for positively impacting communities. This season, the third NEOMP, Trysen wanted to take more of a leadership role. So, this time, hiscompany, TKay2 Designs, is partnering with NEOMP while Trysen takes all of his college classes online. Otherwise, he would be in Southern California where he is a sophomore at the Art Institute of California-San Diego. During this tour, Keep It Flowing and TKay2 Designs will paint four murals at four high schools on four islands in four weeks. Trysen is born and raised in Kauai where NEOMP received a proclamation from Mayor Bernard Carvahlo during our second NEOMP tour. Trysen was wholly responsible for informing the Mayor about our anti-meth mural project. We are excited to see what Trysen has up his sleeve next! Atres

Making Letters Dance 

This week Ken Nishimura is leading a Style Writing/ Calligraphy workshop open to all ages at Diverse Art in Kakaako http://www.diverseartcenter.org (MWF 5-7pm). Today’s students included two ten year-olds, one recent college grad, and two young professional graphic designers from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Ken started with the fundamentals: ABCs, straight letters with a chisel-tip pen on white paper. The objective was to write the alphabet using the same exact line heaviness for each letter. It’s easier said than done!

20150112_173519

The second step was eliminating negative space, in other words, using the least amount of white space between letters without them run into each other. The last step was, as Ken’s said “making the letters dance.” Usually, Ken has students work on step one for weeks or months until they’ve mastered their writing instrument, but for the sake of satisfying three wide ranging levels of experience with this art form, he introduced all three steps and had us practice each one so we could all get a taste of where style writing, or calligraphy, can take us once we’ve mastered the fundamentals.

20150112_173526

 

20150112_185655

The Countdown Begins for NEOMP Spring 2015

photo-2

Only 40 days until our third anti-meth mural tour begins. We’ll be painting 4 murals on 4 islands at 4 high schools and we’re so excited! One way to prepare for the physical challenges of this tour is by staying health conscious. Yesterday we cross-trained: walking 5 miles followed by ocean swimming then weightlifting. We’ve also started eating probiotic foods and we definitely feel the difference! We were inspired to learn more about fermented foods after watching a documentary that premiered online, Origins. So far, we’ve made kimchi, sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers. It’s a process, but so rewarding! It’s also quite affordable! We want to keep learning about fermenting foods so if you have any info to share, please do!

Molokai High: Mauka to Makai

Molokai High School has invited us to re-create a very special campus beautification project titled Mauka to Makai (Mountain to Ocean).  This project is in its 1st stage of production starting with 4 ocean-based murals on Building A and the Gym.  The murals are reminiscent in theme to the former murals which were illustrated by Mr. Howard Celnik which told an amazing story of  if how Molokai residence are all Farmers and Fisherman.  Here is a sneek peek into beginning stages of our progress.  Mahalo Mrs. Lisa Takata and Principal Stan Ha’o.  Stay Tuned 1128058

2348963_1414087914.1705_updates

IMG_1097

IMG_1117

IMG_1124

IMG_1135 IMG_1156

IMG_1237

 

IMG_1258