Thursday, November 19, 2009

Urban Art

Explore Howard has an interesting report on the skate spot, which as I have blogged about before is covered in graffiti. What I thought was the most interesting part was the comments made by the man who is in charge of the $30 million Recreation and Parks budget, Gary Arthur. Arthur said, and I am not making this up, that he expected the graffiti to occur. And in fact, he considers it to a form of “urban art”.

We knew it was going to happen," Arthur said. "Instead of constantly battling to try to keep it clean, this time we decided we would let it be if they keep it in line and as long as it's maintained and the presentation isn't vulgar."

And later..

It's kind of urban art," Arthur said. "OK, you can express yourself on this facility. You use this facility. It's art that represents something for you and your friends."

If Gary Arthur is telling the truth, and he did in fact expect this level of graffiti and knew that his policy would be to allow it to occur, who did he tell? Were the park's neighbors informed? Was the County Council informed? The County Executive? It seems to me that if this was expected, it is a very material fact about the park and it should have been considered more carefully.

In fact, the rules of the skate spot suggest that vandalism is not allowed. I guess graffiti is not vandalism, which is good to know. You heard it here first, kids.

Many of the park's neighbors are displeased about the noise levels from the park, and the visual appearance certainly does not make them feel any better. I seriously doubt the park is much of a boost to their home values, either. As one neighbor pointed out, it is unlikely that Mrs. Ulman, any council member, nor any Rec and Parks board member would be very thrilled to have this park in their neighborhood.

Also, does this mean that I can get a can of Krylon and express myself artistically at the skate park? I think I will add a Mr. Burns tag next to the Bart Simpson tag. On second thought, I better leave that to someone with more artistic talent.


Anonymous said...

How are these people selected? They've voted for a pay increase for county officials:

Any Pay Increase for Electeds is Insane

Commission of a Crime

Paul Baines said...

Great idea in principle but it does mean anything worthwhile gets smothered with tags. Still when you get a decent artist like Banksy the locals go the other way and protect it with a perspex sheet heh.