‘Art living legend’ in Apia for Mele Murals screening

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TALOFA LAVA: Estria Miyashiro is in Samoa this week.

TALOFA LAVA: Estria Miyashiro is in Samoa this week.

The United States Embassy Apia is hosting a special screening of the documentary ‘Mele Murals’ today at the National University of Samoa (N.U.S).

The screening will be attended by Estria Miyashiro, one of the artists featured in the film. Miyashiro has been spray painting for over 30 years, and is recognized around the world as an urban art living legend. 

 “Mele Murals” is a documentary on the transformative power of modern graffiti art and ancient Hawaiian culture for a new generation of Native Hawaiians. 

At the center of this story are the artists Estria Miyashiro (aka Estria) and John Hina (aka Prime), a group of Native Hawaiian charter-school youth and the rural community of Waimea, dealing with the ill effects of environmental changes and encroaching modernization on their native culture.

Set against the resurgence of Hawaiian language and culture of the past twenty years, Estria and Prime tell how their street art has taken them on personal journeys to discover their history, identity and responsibilities as Hawaiian people.

Estria, who left Hawai’i to study art on the mainland, made a name for himself as a street artist and returned to reconnect with his Hawaiian roots.

Prime, who grew up in the projects and became one of the first kings of the Honolulu graffiti scene, left a life of hustling and drugs after the birth of his first child and returned to writing when he realized it was a way to help youth.

Through the personal stories of these two renowned Hawaiian graffiti artists and their joint quest to uphold Hawaiian culture through mural-making, “Mele Murals” shows how public art rooted in underground graffiti combines with Native Hawaiian traditions and contemporary life to impact the students, the town of Waimea, and most of all the artists.

The screening is scheduled for 1pm at the CSS Building 1.

About Estria Miyashiro

Estria Miyashiro has been spray painting for over 30 years, and is recognized around the world as an urban art living legend. 

As a pioneer in an arts movement that is arguably more influential than the classical renaissance, he is acknowledged as a valued historian, and also a community leader who is helping to awaken the social and political consciousness of graffiti writing art.

Originally from Honolulu, Estria moved to The Bay Area in the 1980’s during San Francisco’s “Golden Age Of Graffiti.” 

His murals are known to be fun, cultural, political, and vibrant, with a focus and dedication to uplift the communities they serve. His graffiti art background has led him to produce innovative projects as an educator, entrepreneur, and social activist. 

From the city streets, to executive suites, Estria has worked with numerous non-profit organizations, as well as high profile corporations. 

In 2007, he co-founded the “Estria Battle”, a nationwide urban art competition that honors and advances creativity in the Hip Hop arts. 

In 2010, he co-founded the Estria Foundation.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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