Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle

The Estria Foundation was founded by Estria Miyashiro and Jeremy LaTrasse in 2010 and is a community-based organization dedicated to lasting systemic and social change. Through workshops, speaking engagements, projects, and events, the foundation is committed to creating public art advocating justice and peace in under-served communities worldwide.

Twelve of Hawai’i’s top graffiti writers competed in the Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle at the Academy Art Center. There was Live art surrounding the entire venue, as well as pre finished pieces hanging inside. Lightsleepers provided the beats while the event rocked on. This all day event went on from noon all the way until 7pm

Walking up to the art center, you notice these signs posted all over the place. Definitely a sign of the times when you see posters with twitter handles and hashtags posted at an event, so you can follow the event live online. Even Estria himself was rocking a t-shirt with his twitter handle on it. Pretty dope concept.

The inside of the art center was home to classrooms where workshops were being held. We were there just in time to catch the end of a workshop on the history of graffiti.

A bunch of huge hanging graffiti pieces adorned the walls on the inside of the art center as well. captured the audiences attention with his workshop on the lyrical arts. Teaching the kids about developing stage presence, working with other emcees, and the ways of the mic. Check out on FACEBOOK.

My dude Kai was there repping the Sindication crew (Follow him on twitter at @KAIxSINDICATION) . The new line of Aloha Family gear was in abundance and ready for the taking, following their huge release party the night before.

To check out the entire line of Aloha Family gear, as well as other fresh clothing, go to or head down to Sindications store at the Windward Mall.

Outside on the lawn was where most of the party was going down. So many activities in one area. Breaking, Turfing, Stencil art, Watercolors, Blackbook battles, Crafts, Airbrshing, and so much more.

Elena’s Restaurant was on hand with a truck full of grindz, making sure none of the artists or guests went hungry during this 7hr long event.Definitely some of the best Filipino food you can expect to get here in Hawaii. (Or in Vegas for that matter, as they have a location there as well). Follow them on twitter at @ElenasFilipino to see where they’re gonna turn up next.

Even the man himself, was getting down on Elena’s food.Caught up with Estria at Elena’s tent at lunch.

(Theres that shirt i mentioned earlier. Follow him on twitter at…. aw hell. you can see it. lol)

And of course, even with all the other things going on out on the lawn, it was clear what the focus of the event was. The graffiti invitational battle. Twelve of Hawaii’s top graffiti writers were invited to come battle it out on the lawn. Gian canvas walls were posted all around the lawn with the artists given free reign to do as they please. The only requirement was the word. “Hanau”. Hanau, means “birth” in Hawaiian, and was the theme of the battle. Each artist had to incorporate the word Hanau in their piece. Unfortunately, i didn’t stay all the way through. I would have loved to see all the finished pieces.

This was an amazing event. Really brought the culture to life before the eyes of the old and young. It was really inspirational to see so many older folks there supporting the movement, and seeing it for what it truly is. Not 10 years ago, many of these same people would shun and ostracize graffiti as a worthless display of vandalism. But today at the Estria Invitational, they can really see it for the art form it is.

A big thank you is due to Estria (@estria on twitter) for bringing us this amazing event. Also, shout out to all the artists, vendors, and guests who made this possible. I cant wait for another event like this to come along. And if i were a betting man, i would put my money on 808 Speakerbox. Follow @808SPEAKERBOX on twitter, and watch the development. Its definitely going to be another great event. I just know it.

With the sweet stench of spray paint in the air, it was time to say goodbye to the Estria Invitational Graffiti Battle. Thanks to all the supporters who made it happen.

…until next time.


© Chuco Townsend. Darq Labs Photography 2011

Wedding, Event, Food Photography. Honolulu, Hawaii.


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