Graffiti artist inspires students at Art and Design event

Jim Smith, Faculty Adviser

   Dating back to the ancient workers who built the Egyptian pyramids, graffiti has been used as a way for persons to leave their mark on the world.  But what for many years was seen as an act of vandalism, has now gained acceptance as a sought after art form.  While some business owners still disdain the unwelcome marking of their facades, others are now offering significant payments to commission this urban art form from truly skilled graffiti masters.

   One such master was a guest on the SNU campus this last Thursday evening.  Bobby Levering, a local Oklahoma urban artist who signs his art with the name ENTAKE, was invited by the Art and Graphic Design department to share some graffiti painting techniques and to conduct a live demonstration.  In just over an hour, Levering filled a canvas panel with his signature character, a one-eyed walrus.

   Professor Whitney Porch, who organized the event, talked about her motivation with regard to her students.  “With these kinds of events it really showcases [to students] that they can take the things they are learning in class and apply them to nontraditional means.”  She also talked about how we can showcase the university, especially the Art and Graphic Design department to potential students in the area.  Porch invited local high school students to attend, and they made up half of the event’s 40 participants.

   Levering, who works as a plumbing crew supervisor, talked about what inspires his art.  “I try to look at all aspects of life, I try to find the positive and pretty much life inspires me.”  Levering also enjoys working with other artistic mediums including sculpture, marker drawing and some acrylic and oil painting.  He indicated that spray paint is his favorite means of expression that never gets boring for him.

   At the end of the demonstration, 15 participants were given the opportunity to try out some of Levering’s techniques on a canvas of their own.  Levering was generous with his time and offered words of encouragement as he worked with the student artists.  Porch also presented some art supplies to a few lucky attendees.