Graffiti IS Art

New Bedford's Third Eye Unlimited Festival
I read in the Lynn Item today that Lynn is trying to combat the graffiti problem.

Full article:

At the bottom of the article, they actually start to show the beginnings of understanding that graffiti is an art form:

Ward 5 Councilor Brendan Crighton is working on his own anti-graffiti project along with Community Development Director James Marsh and RawArts. Crighton said a group of young artists competed for the right to paint the large control boxes located in several different spots in downtown.

Crowley likes the idea. He is hoping that if the boxes are painted by local artists, “the vandals, or artists as they refer to themselves,” will be discouraged from painting over another artist’s work.

I love the project that is going to happen downtown. The more public art, the better in my opinion. I can't wait to see what the end results will be. 

I do however have a small problem with Crowley's quote. As I have been misquoted in newspapers many times myself, I'm going to assume he said something slightly different because I like the guy.

Yes, graffiti artists are artist. Yes, there are some in Lynn. They, like most of the artists in Lynn, do not have a forum for their work. By tradition, they work on sides of buildings, hidden locals that are hard to get to, etc., and often do it illegally.

I personally don't want anyone tagging my property without my permission, and I really don't want gang tags on my house, so I understand the frustration. I'm not pro-gang tags, nor do I want crappy tagging and graffiti all over my city. But I do want a place for the real graffiti artists to show their skills so that a level of education about this art form can start to take place on a city-wide level, and so that we can all come up with a way to create more opportunities for graffiti artists to get to work in a serious manner.

I also know that the taggers who are new need something to aspire to so that they can hone their skills,  have more respect for their city and how to keep working in a community minded way. Having skilled artists do their work publicly will allow the newbies to learn a thing or two, talk to the artists, and take themselves and their craft a little more seriously.

Simply wiping out their art work isn't going wipe out the true artists' urge to make their marks.

I was just at 3rd Eye Unlimited festival this past weekend in New Bedford and took the pics below. Let's get this to happen here and give people an extra outlet!

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