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Exclusive Interview: Rialto’s WetPaint Larry Chats on Being an Inspiration and Pioneer in the Arts in the Inland Empire

By Naomi K. Bonman

As you drive around Southern California, you can’t help but to notice graffiti. It’s on the freeway bridges, ramps, train cars, abandon buildings, and just about every flat surface that is in attention to the general public.

Graffiti frustrates many because they feel as if it destructs the city unless it is done in a tasteful manner. Over the recent years, we have seen more graffiti artists who have turned their art into something more positive and of value, such as Rialto, California’s own WetPaint Larry.

“I’ve been painting for a long time,” he states on what inspires him to paint. “Everything around me inspires me to go harder. I have a lot of things that I paint that makes me feel good.”

WetPaint Larry started off doing graffiti but now he paints murals for small businesses, cities, and schools. He is known well regionally and has built up an impressive social media following with over 15,000 followers on Instagram. Larry’s accomplishments recently earned him recognition in the “Under 30 Awards” that was presented by Assemblywoman Eloise Gomez Reyes. 

“That was a good highlight for this year,” WetPaint Larry discusses his recent achievement. “That was something huge for me because when I went in there and looked around I seen high rank [city officials]. As I sat there, I thought ‘[Man], I’m among great people that are doing great work. So, for me that’s huge from being a graffiti artist to getting that award. I look at it all the time.”

Since his latest city achievement, WetPaint Larry has been on the grind with trying to secure more jobs for himself in the schools. He is looking forward to expanding beyond Rialto and has had school officials from Fontana and San Bernardino call him to do some work for their schools.

You can check out WetPaint Larry’s work on his Instagram page @wetpaintlarry and if you want to collaborate with him on a project send him a direct message via the platform.

What It Do With the LUE: Winner of LUE Productions 2017 B.S.M. Competition-Clyde Gatewood

By Lue Dowdy

Winner of LUE Productions 2017 B.S.M. Competition, Clyde Gatewood, is What It Do! History was made! It was a packed house and something different. LUE Productions was able to pull off the 1st Big and Sexy Men Competition in the Inland Empire. The event was created to bring focus to the plus-size community and to show that sexiness and confidence comes in all shapes and sizes. Body shaming in my opinion is another form of bullying and it needs to STOP! No longer do you have to be a size 0 or 4 to be considered beautiful or handsome.

The event was held at the Women’s Club of San Bernardino on Sunday, August 27 where a total of four handsome men competed for a crown, trophy, and $500 cash. It wasn’t easy! Each had to endure rehearsals, multiple photoshoots, and more in preparation for the competition.

The categories consisted of four sections: Boss Look, Summer Nights, Free Style, and Questions. Contestants were also judged on their group opening performance and individual performances. We had the pleasure of having VIC Camp, former Miss California Lea Freeman, Celebrity Hair Stylist Brittney Shearz, and Gina Carter as our panel of judges. Alfred Parker, Michelangelo, Clyde Gatewood, and Maurice Cunningham did a fabulous job from beginning to end. The ladies loved them!

The evening was hosted by Petti Model Krystal Yvonne and very funny Comedian Tamiko Kirkland. The audience could not stop laughing with Tamiko’s hilarious jokes. We continued on with our mini BBW fashion show featuring DIVA’s Outlaw Fashions provided by Mrs. ‘Riisha Shelby. The pieces provided by DIVA’s Outlaw Fashions were smoking hot and gorgeous. R&B Singer Annyett Royale blessed our ear gates and DJ UpperKutt kept it live on the turn tables. Food was catered by PitStop BBQ and the moments captured on film by ILondon Fog and F.W. Photography. Special thanks to all our volunteers, vendors, sponsors, and supporters. We could not have done it without you all.

Make sure to follow LUE Productions on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, IG, and Snapchat for upcoming events. Donations are welcome and can be made via PayPal under Lue.info@yahoo.com. Remember to always love the skin you’re in! Until next week L’z!

Bottomline: Key to Emergency Preparedness… Human Kindness!

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

As we are mesmerized by the video visuals of the tragedy in Texas, we are also driven to tears of pride as we witness the heroic response from plain folk volunteers.  The expected first responders are needed and extremely appreciated; however, the truth is that the real first responders are often potential victims that were prepared for an unexpected emergency. The clean water and plastic bags for personal waste go a long way when strangers are herded to a safe-from-danger-spot that has room, but no accommodations for a large gathering of people. Shelters are temporary spaces, such as churches, schools and stadiums that are seldom, if ever, able to accommodate at any level of comfort.

We have seen the Texas tragedy cause people to open their homes to strangers! That is a great storyline that will probably soon be countered by stories exemplifying the other side of human nature.  There will be examples of real looting, not just the “emergency borrowing” that some did survive. There will be stories about folks who were ridiculed by people who could have helped. 

The rain is moving out of Texas into neighboring states where it will eventually normalize. Texans and the nation will feel the ripple effect of the human toll of death and property loss for years! Recovery from the coming health issues will be countered by “economic opportunity”. There will be growth and development, but the memories of pain will remain throughout the lives of some.

I pray that this evidence of unexpected devastation will cause more people to realize the importance of each other! There may come a time of tragedy when the people that you disagree with will be the same people that you will be depending on for help.

We do not have to agree with each other about how we got here, but we do need to respect the fact that we are here together!  Friends do not have to agree, they should only be friendly!