Monday, September 29, 2008

The one day wall

I'm somewhat surprised that I totally failed to catch this when it happened ("somewhat" because I was rather engrossed in my own project around that time), but I've just received an email from tipster Q about a really cool graffiti wall project that happened over at Brittingham Park back in July. Photos from the event are now available for your viewing pleasure here.

Sadly, the wall was only up for 11 hours, and though by its very nature street art tends toward the transitory, that's really a shame in this case. Still, I'm happy to read about the organizer of the event, Kimberely Coonts, who was also apparently behind the graffiti wall that used to go up during WSUM's Party in the Park. People like her do a great service for our community, and we should all do our best to support their efforts.

Check out the article about the event here.

Worth special note in the piece is this bit:
The problem arises when [graffiti] is without permission and has defaced businesses," she said. "There are a number of small businesses that are running on a very tight margin as is, and when they have to stop what they're doing to go out and undo the damage that somebody randomly inflicted on them, it's detrimental to the business owner and it doesn't reflect well on the neighborhood."

Thurber added that there is a city ordinance that forces business owners to remove graffiti in a timely fashion, or they can be issued a citation on top of the cost of removing the graffiti.

I've heard about that ordinance before, and honestly it strikes me as a silly and potential harmful way of dealing with the problem of tagging. Forcing the business owners--the "victims" in the case--to pony up money (this in addition to any cleaning costs) should they take a bit too long in cleaning it, seems ridiculous. And it can't help foster much in the way of a potential positive relationship between businesses and more legitimate street artists. Isn't there another way to deal with this? I mean, I'm not fan of tagging, and hardly consider it "art" on par with the type of stuff I post here, but this doesn't seem like the right solution. What do you think?

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