The Police Department’s experience with graffiti is one that Trinity Watershed Management has been watching closely as it seeks ways to mitigate vandalism on the bridges over the river, said Dhruv Pandya, the watershed’s assistant director.Bingo! Grits has been advocating just such an approach: allowing graff artists to decorate blank portions of the urban landscape, both publicly owned sites like drainage culverts, highway supports, and even the backs of street signs and, where permission can be obtained, on private property in the vein of the Cardiff Empty Walls festival. (I'd also like to see arts re-emphasized in schools, but that's another subject.) By comparison, the cost-benefit analysis underlying an enforcement-only, arrest-and-incarcerate model makes no sense at all. Remove the emotionalism and tribal disdain and there are ways to manage this millennia-old problem that address concerns of property owners, but it won't be resolved by cops, courts or ever-more criminal penalty enhancements that never worked before and won't work now.
Street artists were allowed to paint the underside of the Commerce Street bridge during the city’s last Trinity River Wind Festival. For Pandya, that has meant a slight change in attitude as he looks at ways to allow street painting legally — and to keep it only where it’s allowed.
“We have 30 miles of levees and we have concrete structures,” he said, “and there’s nothing but gray.”
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Dallas considers opening levees to invited graffiti
Dallas has been tepidly experimenting with the idea of "free walls" for graffiti artists (see prior Grits coverage) to divert them from private property, reported the Dallas News (Nov. 15), but the real game changer could come from a different government source. The story concluded: