Working at the gallery has a lot of perks. Probably one of the best perks is meeting people who are trying to inspire our community one person, or kid, at a time.
Back in September, a woman (we apologize for not catching her name, hopefully she will read this and holler at us…) came in and wanted to buy paint. She asked a lot of questions about the difference between Hardcore and 94s, colors, and tips. Since she seemed out of her element, we asked her what the paint was for to better help with her choices. She told us that she was a dance teacher at International Studies Academy (ISA) in Potrero Hill and she had trouble motivating one of her kids to participate. The student refused to dance but the catch was, he needed this class to pass his grade level. Instead of sending this disobedient kid to detention or worse, turning her back on him and giving up, she decided to approach the situation in a positive and inspiring way. She noticed that he was always sketching graffiti letter styles in his black book and gave him the task of heading up the set design for the class’ final project, a school recital. She said when she proposed the idea, he was ecstatic and motivated to do an excellent job. He even gave her sketches of what he envisioned the stage to look like. Then, there she stood in front of us at 1:AM gallery dropping more than $50 bucks of her own money to support this kid’s artistic interest.
Some of the local graff writers were in the shop that day and observed what this teacher was doing for her student. They commented that if they had someone in school who motivated them positively instead of the expulsion or negative insults they received in their adolescent and teenage years, they might have steered clear of a lot of the trouble they got into. The easy solution is always to turn your back. But cultivating a youth’s mind and investing in someone will benefit the community as whole in the future.
If the dance teacher is reading this, thank you.