Re: Graffiti Discussion at the MFAH
Last night at the Museum of Fine Arts Councilmember Sue Lovell pledged the entire city budget for graffiti removal- $2 million- to purchase property for writers to use prosecution free if they will, quote, “stop”. In conversation with Houston graff writer ARTICLE Lovell compared writers to dogs pissing on walls and also admitted to spraypainting SILENCE = DEATH stencils during the 1980s AIDS campaign. Her attempt to negotiate directly with ARTICLE for the compliance of all local writers was quickly dashed by Director of the Community Artists´ Collective Michelle Barnes who reminded the Councilmember that ARTICLE “only speaks for himself”.
Despite heckling from the crowd Lovell persisted in reinerating property values rights over the theoretical arguements of Contemporary Arts Museum Houston curator Valerie Cassel Oliver and Spectrum Dance Theater Artistic Director Donald Byrd that graffiti is a cultural symptom rather than a direct function of a lack of free wall space. While no member of the panel directly confronted Lovell on her plan, the hope of negotiating with hundreds of teenagers and several fractious political groups of writers to stop graffiti in Houston is an impossible task representing a lack of understanding of the problem coupled with the insinuation that she could convince the other City Council members to shell out $2 million to purchase property for artists to use for mural painting.
The councilwoman encouraged citizens to call and write her office to follow up on her proposed city space to graffiti artists at: 713-960-1601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to let the mayor know what you think of the plan at: 713.247.2200 or email@example.com.
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When: January 12, 2007
Next: Austin Stencils