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June 2008
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August 2008

Urban Arts Forum - update

I attended this last year, and did a post on it. After the event I tried to get a committee together of some key people in urban arts to follow up and keep the momentum going, we exchanged some enthusiastic emails and had a good meeting. The problem with key people is that they often ar already spending all their free time on their passion, to work more on something like this would mean to give up some of the things they are already doing.

What got me thinking on this again was a request by a New York journalist, editor of The New Agenda magazine. The editor had seen my post and was looking for input for a follow up article on the forum. I sent an email with responses to the questions, and then decided to post my responses here too. Basically, was a nice idea, no planned follow through, so not much progress.

Here's my response....

Continue reading "Urban Arts Forum - update" »

Art by the highway

Just posting this here so I can link a reminder to local artists to it.

There's a long sound barrier along Hwy 174 in Orleans, on your right just before Place D'Orleans. It was tagged years agoo, then painted with birds and flowers. And, after a few years - tagged again. Our councillor Bob Monette would like to have it repainted - this time with a number of the 9x8 foot panels in a graff art style. Some money for materials, and the chance to do a nice piece at your leisure, in the day. And have everyone check it out as they ride by on the bus.

They want each piece to somehow work in a reference to an Orleans landmark. Deadline for a sketch is July 31 - or at least call them by then to say you're interested. Contact is Christina Franc 613-580-2424 ext 12584

Here's more info Download Call_out_to_all_artists.doc (28.0K)

Graffiti and vandalism

I don’t think all illegal graffiti is vandalism, and by extension, that all illegal graffiti artists are vandals.

It may seem like that in the eyes of an property owner, but for the most part the work is NOT done with the intent to deface or destroy something. It’s with the intent to add the artist's view of art, whether it’s some colourful bubble letters or a more elaborate piece.  If someone scribbles a tag on a storefront, or throws a can of paint on a back wall – I would consider that vandalism. If instead they do a mural or even a stencil of a happy face on that back wall – it’s still can be illegal, but I won’t label it as vandalism, not in my point of view.

When a transformation project is done to clean up a community one element is communication between youth and residents, so they each learn to appreciate (or at least understand) the others point of view. 

 My approach has always been to focus on the artistic aspect, which has helped me to build some rapport and trust within the graffiti culture and the rest of the hip-hop community. This enables me to talk with not only confirmed legal mural artists, but also those that are on the fence.

I admit that there are some that dislike legal walls, that believe that legal graffiti is an oxymoron - that's OK.

Orleans Graffiti Art (GART) and Art in the Park

A couple of local events...

July 5, 2008 - Sketch Orleans, in partnership with CAVE Ottawa and Orleans Auto Tech, held their first Graffiti Art day – GART. Several local graffiti artists showed up to paint on the seven 4x8 ft panels, and the owner of the business has selected two to do a large mural on the 40 foot wall of his business. He’s tired of repeatedly priming over tags, he would prefer to beautify the wall – and his community –with a mural. This property is next to Place D’Orleans mall, so managed to attract both youth and adults. We had about 40 stop by to watch, to ask abot the concept, even to try their hand at a bit of painting. Thanks again to ICI paints for the primer, and Norml Clothing for a great price on spray cans. For more info see the news release or the leaflet for the event. For photos of the event click here.

July 19, 2008   Art in the Park :  This activity will be held July 19, in  Fallingbrook  Park, off of Princess Louise drive.  It is organized by Events by Natasha.  Sketch, as a partner with Community CAVE (Ottawa), will have a presence/visibility at the event.  This is a collection of art vendors – we will not be selling anything, but will have two youth that were at GART work on two 4x8 panels, doing a demonstration of letters and artistic elements. We will be explaining our same concepts, such as of youth as urban artists, and handing out some leaflets with more information. We’ll also will have a third panel for anyone to try out their style.  Click here  for more info on the event.