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Artists or vandals

We (Keepsix) have done a number of murals so far: Richmond Road Hydro last fall, then this year Jack Purcell Pool, Photolux Studio in Manotick, Hillary's Drycleaners on Bank, Genest Pool in Vanier (St. Cecile). We're also planning murals on a cube van for Sodexo, a long (200 ft) retaining wall on St. Joseph Blvd in Orleans, and the buildings in behind Bouchey's on Elgin St.

Feedback from customers, politicians, and the public has been very positive. And from the artists of course - they appreciate the opportunity to get their art up, to develop their skills, and to make money at it.

Positive except for an isolated few, such as one I'll call Mr X, since his posts are typical of a small group that criticizes our work. This person that has complained about several of our murals - not directly to Keepsix though. He instead sneaks in to target the customer, BIA's, councilors, to try to discourage them from hiring us. His main complaint is that we are hiring known current vandals, and we support vandalism. He pretends to support our process, but criticizes our approach. He's even complained about the planned St. Joseph blvd mural, his most verbose and far reaching to date. He's refining his spiel, just not his facts. He did miss a few of our murals, maybe he'll catch up.

We do support mural art, and are using it as a way to provide talented youth with an opportunity, a new direction, a way to be part of a community building process that includes them as well as residents and local businesses. Some of the artists have tagged in the past, some may not have completely "kicked" the habit yet, but we still are optimistic about the program and believe in these youth.

I had been summarizing below some complaints that customers have forwarded to me for comment, as well as our responses back to customer questions, and supportive messages from the community. It's become so long a post that I'll just leave Mr. X here, and move the positive responses to here. His accusations may be verbose but are not particularly well written or unique, but are typical of a small group that criticize our work. There are a few that send similar emails to us, or - in a few brave cases - actually show up to complain in person. On occasion they talk and modify their opinions, sometimes they choose to differ. Some are even slanderous, but closing them down would take time and money. Usually their own demonstrations of inflexibility and avoidance of facts is their own undoing. I would rather focus on the positive changes our group is doing.

I'd removed the actual names that he claims are active taggers, since they don't need to be further maligned here, and he presents no formal proof. I also took out his photo links to other's photos of alleged current tags, they don't prove much as there is no easy way to date the tag itself as being last week or last year. It's a long post, but given his repeated complaints I thought I'd be proactive and capture all that has been said so far on this -especially the positive things.  As you'll see he is repetitive - maybe he needs a web site to link people to, to simplify things. Maybe I'll send this link to new customers, just to get this out of the way so we can focus on helping youth and improving the community.

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