Belize is a long way from N. Chili, and using high-pressure aerosols and pro-caps to create graffiti art isn’t exactly taught by the RWC Art Department. However, that hasn’t stopped Crosby Jack Sackett ’10 (Art) from using his talents to enhance the neighborhoods of Dangriga, Belize.
Crosby recently returned from an art trip to Belize, the purpose of which was to paint murals on schools, monuments, and town walls. This trip, sponsored by the non-profit group Peace Works, took Crosby from his home in Charleston, South Carolina to the Caribbean with the purpose of beautifying and culturally enriching the town.
As a student, memorizing hundreds of slides for art history, Crosby probably didn’t imagine the opportunities for street art that would come his way. However, professors like Doug Giebel, helped instill in Crosby a passion for the history and breadth of all art. Professor Giebel passed on his passion to Crosby, and it helped motivate him to take his interest in street art and graffiti to a higher level.
Supplied with 150 cans of premium Montana Gold spray-paint, he and an artist friend, Jahsun, took off for Belize. The city of Dangriga is a two-hour drive through the jungle. The area and its people have experienced their share of political corruption and poverty, so the artwork was a welcome infusion of color and energy.
The project energized the community. Local children came out to watch (and to help if they could). Families provided home-cooked meals on a daily basis. They were invited into homes, presented with gifts, and celebrated with songs and dances. Crosby became a part of their community during the two weeks spent painting in the blistering sun.
All-in-all, it was an amazing experience. The end product celebrated the vibrant local culture, added to civic pride, and helped to bring the community together. Crosby says, “It was truly a remarkable trip, and a spiritually fulfilling one. Knowing that the work we produced was in no way about us, of, or for us, but that we were called there to fulfill some grander design.”
Crosby lives in Charleston, South Carolina where he teaches Graffiti Technique and Street Art at the non-profit Redux Contemporary Art Center. He also teaches at the Citadel Military College of South Carolina. In between instructing, he creates private murals and spends weekends using up leftover paints on a “legal wall” alley in downtown Charleston. Crosby is originally from Wellsville, NY.
Click here to see a YouTube video which uses time-lapse video to chronicle Crosby’s art projects in Belize.