Beautifying our island one mural at a time Story and photos by Jesse Babauta
raffiti is often associated with vandalism. Recently, there has been an effort to change that stigma and have graffiti recognized as a credible artform. Many graffiti artists are extremely talented—simply opting to use a spray can as opposed to a paint brush. By asking property owners for permission, documenting the process and then raising awareness through the internet, today graffiti artists are commissioned to do projects aiming to beautify rather than deface. Guam Spraycation 2018 kicked off on May 25, with the last mural completed on June 3. During that time, a team of international artists collaborated with local graffiti enthusiasts and let the creative juices flow. With support from local entrepreneurs like Melchor Manibusan, owner of Coffee Slut/Spike 22; John Calvo, owner of Mungee Pops; Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter, Jon “The Super Saiyan” Tuck; and Edgar “Lerk” Gaza, co-owner of Opake, a total of 16 murals went up across the island. From Tumon to Hagåtña — major hotels, private businesses and even one of the public high schools volunteered their walls as canvases for the once frowned upon artform. The Guam Visitors Bureau and representatives from the legislature praised the project and its participants for their efforts. Upon hearing about the project, John Calvo decided it was a worthy cause and sought funding for the project. “I’m a closet art fan and I felt this was just good for Guam. Hopefully we can get more support locally.” Guam Spraycation 2018 was without a doubt— a huge success.
Located at JFK High School in Tamuning
Located in Tumon near Outrigger building
Modern murals: Bold and beautiful | Soft and smooth: Serena Sirena | Student Savings: Get more for less