Prayer walk inspires Art Alley muralist

Published: Oct. 12, 2018 at 6:34 PM CDT
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Monday's prayer walk in honor of the students who died at the Rapid City Indian Boarding school inspired a graffiti artist into painting a mural in Art Alley.

Derek Smith was moved by the march and prayer walk in Rapid City on Native American Day. He wanted to find a way to transmit some of what he was feeling to a younger audience.

An experienced graffiti artist, he knew just the right medium. So this week he created a mural in Rapid City's Art Alley that weaves traditions ... both old and new.

"I'm trying to reach a younger audience through graffiti and bridge that gap between the young audience and the old Lakota traditions," he said mid way through painting his mural. "What I am doing is using my traditional roots and my culture and integrating that with graffiti to interest the youth."

Smith says that remembering the hardships that the children went through at the boarding school gives him perspective in his own life ... and his art.