Hip Hop Summit Graffiti workshop shows students artwork and culture

Alison Pfaff, Features Editor

From tagging alleys in Chicago, to teaching COD students graffiti-style letters, artist “Ogel”, has been drawing graffiti since the 80’s.

“I started out as a “garbage” graffiti writer in 1989, tagging on park benches and in alleys [and] garbage cans. [I] transitioned through the 90’s into being a pretty prolific “bomber” or vandal at the time, primarily CTA property and then slowly became better and better at what I did, learning from my peers and my mentors, and I just painted on everything,” Ogel said.

On  May 1, students had the opportunity to show their artistic talent at a Graffiti Art Workshop as part of the inaugural COD Hip Hop Summit. The event was hosted by the Center for Diversity and inclusion, as well as Counseling and Advising Services. Students were able to choose three colors of markers, as well as a canvas to learn basic bubble letters in a graffiti style. Ogel believes this event, as well as the Hip Hop Summit in general, is a great opportunity to promote diversity and inclusion.

“One of the initiatives for this entire program was diversity and inclusion, being a part of the Hip Hop summit,” he said. “If you look at the group of participants here, you pretty much have the largest spectrum of cultures, religion, race, ethnicity, in this one room of probably about 50 participants. Probably from all different backgrounds, probably from all parts of the city and suburbs, with the love or appreciation for certain parts of the culture, which, to me, is the most important part about it.

“[Graffiti is] art, and it’s freedom. It’s expression, and, like I said throughout the course of the summit, it’s therapy.”