September 13, 2005

Apropos to a graffito

Yesterday, I made a few offhand comments about the dirty image that the proliferation of graffiti gives downtown Ottawa.

Today, I learned that the city is actually sponsoring a graffiti workshop for teens in October. According to the official city Fall 2005/Winter 2006 Arts course calendar (PDF):

Workshop - BIG ART

Think the suburbs are lifeless and boring? Speak up, express yourself! Graf Artists Stephan and Pat Thompson will be holding workshops in Graffiti, Big Art & Sculpture. Only you have what it takes to re-paint your world.

Ironically, the city of Ottawa acknowledges the reality of "broken window syndrome" - that if you allow broken windows, graffiti, and other signs of decay to stand, then you leave the impression that the community does not care. This, in turn, encourages more and greater acts of vandalism. Then the city schizophrenically sponsors classes in improving graffiti skills.

There are legitimate, sanctioned graffiti sites in Ottawa, such as the Tech Wall and the various skateboard parks. I don't object to these. But how many of these kids are going to limit themselves to doing pieces on the Tech Wall? I expect the quality of the vandalism outside my church to rise accordingly.

(H/T: Ottawa City News via Small Dead Animals)