Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We need more public art, fewer "tags"

Last night's City Council decided to send an order out to have all utility boxes, mailboxes and so forth repainted because they've been covered by tags, a less artful sort of graffiti. They ordered utility boxes painted green in order to blend. Blend with what? The grass? Some shrubs? What they're doing is giving taggers a fresh new canvas.

Some cities have invited artists to paint these boxes. Though it may be hard to believe, most self-proclaimed graffiti artists and taggers won't cover other work. They tend to leave public art alone.

And sometimes even when it's not government sanctioned, it's very cool.

Check this out:
The Gutter Art of Sao Paulo

Artist: Guided by Voices
Song: I am a Scientist


  1. I'd love to see Lynn invite artists to paint these boxes. There are enough art organizations in town to help sponsor a program like this and find artists. I wish the city would show some vision in this department. Most city leaders seem to favor the uniform approach which tends to make things less interesting. Somerville Arts did a great job finding artists to paint utility boxes in that city.

    On similar note, I remember seeing some new businesses with improvised black and gold signs which seemed to be spray-painted on cardboard. How sad. If I ever run for mayor, I'll run on a platform of artistic utility boxes and a repeal of the sign ordinance and the residency requirement.

  2. Now I wish I took a picture of the box I saw today in front of Boston city hall. It was grafitti and it was beautiful.

    Like most things, they won't understand us on this one either.

  3. Our ideas are not completely out of left field. Many of them are just things we've observed outside of Lynn, but they seem so foreign within its borders.

    I'd like to take City Hall on several field trips.

    But maybe it's not necessary for them to understand it. They just have not get in the way. We'd have better results if we didn't have the City in charge of finding the artists.

    But I understand your frustration. There's always a department head or some such relic who manages thwart positive change. How is it that they have more power than the City Council or Mayor?!

    I would cite examples in this post, but doing so could jeopardize some initiatives that I haven't given up on, entirely.

  4. When I comment quickly between classes at work, I have to be careful not to skip over whole words. I think the meaning is still intact in my last comment, if not the grammar.

  5. JP did this too. The artists who will be showing at the gallery in September, Corey Corcoran, was chosen to do one in JP and I love it. I hardly even noticed the boxes until he came to the gallery the other day to show me his work, now I see them all over the place and they would be perfect for public art pieces. At the very least, I would love to see the ones downtown painted up a bit!


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