Graffiti draws together student creativity

By Cuyler Dunn

Once again, Graffiti Magazine is thriving at LHS.

The magazine staff has produced an annual print featuring Lawrence High student writers, poets, artists and more for decades. They also host open mics for students to read their newest pieces and hold writing contests throughout the year. It is a destination for students to share their creations.

“I would describe it as very creative,” junior Kennedy Bigham said. “It’s honestly just a combination of writing works — just the entire art department of LHS coming together for one thing.”

Submissions for the magazine are open to everyone, with the goal of spreading the creativity of Lawrence High with the rest of the school and beyond.

“Anyone can submit work to the magazine,” editor Freeman Spray said. “We encourage creativity at every available opportunity, and we believe that everyone has creative potential.”

The magazine is led by a group of students who put in endless hours to work on the project, review student works and finally decide what gets put in the publication.

“It definitely takes up some time,” Spray said. “I’m involved with a lot of extracurriculars, but I always have to put Graffiti first, and it can really disrupt my schedule. Especially next semester, I expect it will really cut into my free time. It is a real commitment, but it has been a really positive experience for me overall. I’ve had an excellent time working with reliable people like our sponsor; Mr. [Jonathon] Harrison and the rest of the Graffiti team.”

The magazine staff also host monthly open mics and writing contests where students can read their stories or poems. These help support the club along with fundraisers throughout the Lawrence community. The magazine is always looking for new students and other support for this crucial program.

“If you write, then you should consider reading your work at one of our open mics, which we host on the last Wednesday of each month,” Spray said. “If you don’t, then just come and listen to others, or read a work by another author. We always want to see new faces in the audience. The most helpful thing in terms of the magazine would be to participate in our spring fundraisers. The magazine isn’t cheap, and we usually partner with Chipotle or other restaurants to raise money. Keep an eye out for flyers about upcoming fundraisers, and mention Graffiti when you get a meal there at the designated time.”

The support helps young writers and artists show their works in the community . It allows LHS artists to show what it means to be a Chesty Lion.

“People come together and they help spread students work around the school in different ways,” junior Elyzebeth Workman said. “It’s a great way to see new people’s works, and to see who we are as a school compared to other schools.”

The magazine is huge for students looking to show off their creativity. It helps enrich the readers with literature and art from fellow classmates. It beneficial to everyone, the writer and the reader.

“Besides enriching our school with its promotion of student writing and creativity, it also provides opportunity to photographers and artists, who can have their work featured,” said Spray. “The magazine is the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of students in various fields, and the ability of the student body to accomplish something so detailed is very rewarding, on top of all of the prestige that comes to students who got their writing featured.”

The magazine will be released in the spring.

“Graffiti magazine and the open mics we host create opportunities for me and others to share our passion,” said Spray, “helping improve our skills and growing a community of young writers and poets at LHS.”