Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Murals make an exciting new addition!

Hostelling International is very excited to announce the completion of two additional murals in our building! Last week a group of students and staff from Connect Force used their incredible talents to bring beauty to the hostel’s stairwells. The group had previously painted a mural on the landing between the 2nd and 3rd floors. We loved it so much we asked them to do more! Eventually all landings will have a mural done by Connect Force. The program is based out of Uptown and focuses on youth and hip-hop culture. We got a chance to talk with one of the staff members at Connect Force! Let him tell you more:

HI: What is your name?
Jesse. My art name is Jezi

HI: So you are working on the mural between the first floor and the second floor in the stairwell. What is this mural about?
It is about culture, dreaming, and believing.

HI: How did you come up with the inspiration?
Well this is what we practice with the hip-hop program. But most of it was spontaneous; we didn’t plan ahead with the concept. But we planned the basic images and then it manifested on top of that.

HI: Who was working on this mural?
Justin really kicked it off. Me, Oscar, Nick, Avery, Ruth, and Mike have been working on it too. Avery, Ruth, and Mike are all students. And the rest of us work for Connect Force.

HI: How long did it take with all of you working together?
This is day four. We will definitely finish by tomorrow. We have to do programming tonight so we have to leave early. But we will finish tomorrow.

HI: Tell me more about Connect Force. What do you guys do?
We are a hip-hop preservation and education program. We firstly teach and support youth in their own academic and self-development in a context of teaching the element of hip-hop culture.

HI: Where are most students from?
Most are from Uptown but we do get a lot of participants from all over the city. The other half of what we do is just to have an open space to practice hip-hop. Our hours are 6-8 Tuesdays and Thursdays and 1-4 on Saturdays. We actually have participants form all over the world come to practice with us. We have really nice dance floors so that draws in a lot of people. So it was a natural connection with the international hostel. Usually if breakers from out of town come in to Chicago, they visit us.

HI: Wow that is sweet! Have you done other murals?
Yeah mostly outdoor murals. We have done some indoor however we are hoping this will increase our publicity. And then allow us to increase our portfolio.

HI: Well it looks great! Thanks so much for taking a break and talking with me!
Yeah no problem. Check out the other murals too, they are all pretty sweet!

Thanks so much Connect Force! It looks great! Stop by the hostel and check it out!

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