Summer art class got an extra flair this week as a group of half a dozen teens learned the fundamentals of graffiti during a program offered through the .
The class, held for a few hours Tuesday through Friday, encourages youth between the ages of 13 and 16 to try out an art form that can be controversial but also holds serious artistic value for many people.
The group spent the first part of each day learning techniques at the teen center before heading to the Edge Skate Park to paint on a wall the city offers just for graffiti artists.
Chris Jordan, one of two instructors working with the group through Tacoma-based Fab-5, said he's impressed with how receptive the City of Redmond is to graffiti.
"There's not a lot of places where you get to do this kind of art," he said.
Most of the kids who sign up for the class aren't looking for a way to rebel, fellow instructor Kenji Stoll added. The level of opportunity for individual expression is what draws most students in, Stoll said.
"They're just looking for something interesting, something creative," he said.
Stoll said the class spends a lot of time introducing basic drawing and painting skills before progressing into more advanced techniques, such as different letter styles and hand control.
Fifteen-year-old Owen Smith said he already had an interest in drawing but has learned many new skills through the graffiti class, such as how to create 3-D shapes.
Smith had never tried out graffiti before this week.
"I just thought it'd be something cool to learn how to do," he said.