A wide shot of a ceramics studio, featuring students working with pottery wheels and other tools.

SAIC Alum Helps Kids in Juvenile Detention Turn Graffiti into Art

SAIC alum Eric Dean Spruth (BFA 1990, MA 1992) has been involved with the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center for about 17 years, with dreams of painting murals on the walls just as long. Four years ago, he finally got the go-ahead to start the program. In a recent interview with Red Eye Chicago, Spruth said he works with the detainees to create murals in the medical center. With a number of kids there on graffiti charges, Spruth colors the murals with markers to mimic the graffiti process. “We are trying to make use of markers that are used historically for graffiti,” Spruth said. “Here they are doing the same thing but in an appropriate way.”