Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Art Gallery?

At a recent city council meeting (according to the August 17th agenda) Councillor Snook presented a motion to explore costs associated with a "graffiti management plan", and council members received information on Halifax's anti-graffiti program.

Graffiti can be a big problem. Defacing public and private property, and costs associated with clean-up, are serious considerations. I read recently about a two different approaches to controlling graffiti.

In Calgary this past weekend Urbanburn2 - an outdoor youth and art festival - addressed "artistic expression through vandalism" in a positive way. Artists exhibited their work and explored "non-destructive" means of graffiti. They were taught about public art and community involvement.

Meanwhile, according to a recent CBC article, the City of Calgary has given a "legal zone" to graffiti artists. From the article:
Dawn Ford, with the City of Calgary, said the project carries a positive message. "One of our goals is to visually animate our city and make it much more vibrant, and in a space like Shaw Millennium Park we're looking at targeting the art ... to the community that uses that park," Ford said.
On the other end of the spectrum, the city of Los Angeles is taking a very serious tone regarding graffiti. I read a story in the LA Times that reports the city's Attorney wants to give police the power to arrest taggers who congregate, they don't have to be caught doing anything illegal.

Not surprisingly there are many vocal critics to this proposal, ranging from representatives of civil liberties organizations to law enforcement officials.

How does this relate to the West Side? I am posting pictures of graffiti found on the west side. It is very impressive, and I would consider it to be non-destructive as it is found on an abandoned foundation near the water.

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