The Vennie Graffiti Art Project

October 2012 saw the opening of our own skate-park and it looked great and is well used but there was something missing some colour! To carry on with our work we had completed with the Vennie Skate Team, we had an idea that would involve them and other young people from the Vennie to take part in a graffiti art project. This project would be rather ambitious but doable. It would involve decorating the Vennie building and the skatepark at the same time. The building needed a facelift, as it had been years since the last graffiti project. It felt that it would be ideal to repaint the building, and brighten up the skatepark. It would be fantastic to involve the young people too. We got in contact with Spectrum Arts, Edinburgh, and asked them if they would be interested in painting a mural on the building and skate park. We wanted a workshop with the young people too. They were eager to help, and so we applied for funding through the Alcohol Diversionary Fund from Livingston North. We had our bid accepted and endorsed by the L.A.C. The young people were asked to draw their ideas on paper first, then discuss them and by using a democratic process, voted on what would go on the wall/park. They learned about the creative process. Painting a mural does not just happen, sketches have to be made, and the design and colour scheme have to be planned in advance. All the young people had a go at spray painting, and how to do this was explained fully, to keep in line with health and safety procedures. The girls and boys really enjoyed the experience. After a consultation session, some young people went home and drew some more designs. They were very excited and inspired at seeing their ideas on the walls of The Vennie. They worked well with the graffiti artists, and listened well to what they could and could not do. They took instruction on how to use a spray can, and had fun painting all day. Even though there was heavy rain, everyone was still enthusiastic and wanted to help with the project. Through being a part of this project, the young people enhanced their creative talent and developed their artistic skills. It enabled them to express themselves. By creating a bright and colourful mural, it gave them enjoyment and also other peoples enjoyment of the piece. They developed transferable skills, not only in the art process but for life too. These would be communication, team work, working individually, concentrating, evaluation, leadership, thinking outside the box and so on.


Life Is For Livingston – Art Project

We recently completed a photography/research project with some members of our skateboard team. The small project was celebrating Livingston’s 50th anniversary. The young people discussed the possible direction of their project in relation to the Livingston Heritage and Archive Project. They were keen to pursue a brand for their skate park and to create art work on to skateboard decks which is relevant to both the history of Livingston and their own involvement with the Vennie skate park. They created some basic ideas for their branding, and were asked to look at the work of Toby Paterson as inspiration for their deck designs. The group worked extensively through a process to create images for the base of their skateboards. Each member of the group came up with a design which was transferred in to print then on to the base of their skateboard. The group was asked to display their work at an exhibition held at Howden Park Centre, Livingston, that also featured other groups work to celebrate Livingston’s 50th birthday. This is a fine example of the diverse range of work with young people that we embark upon at The Vennie.

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The Vennie Skate Park

A group of talented & articulate young people from The Vennie came up with an idea for  a local skate park project. the group approached Tom who then introduced them to a local Councillor at a community BBQ, they were then able to express their opinions & ideas to him. They were realistic in what they were asking for taking into account the economic climate. They were also willing to fundraise to contribute to the cost of the skate park being built. The group were part of the whole consultation process, including design which has a prominent ‘V’ in recognition of The Vennie. See photo album below for picture process of The Vennie’s skate park being built from day one to the very last day of construction.