Blight or Art?!?!
Wednesday morning Fox2 News Detroit, announced that all graffiti is now being considered “blight” in the city of Detroit. What that means is that EVERYthing is getting buffed. This is an evolving topic with the city’s office. When the “graffiti task force” started, they were going out giving tickets to building owners if they didn’t remove it within a given time period. Their biggest mistake was going after the commissioned walls of the GRCC. This project is heavily backed by the community. Once the mayors’ office heard the backlash of the community he realized the mistake he made and came out and apologized to the curator.
What I’d really like to know is how does someone like this decide what comes and what goes? In the fall of 2015, the very first Murals in the Market happened in the cities historic Eastern Market. How do you think most of these artists got their start? They were painting graffiti on the streets and progressed into muralists.
If the city wants to attack blight cool. But the pothole lined streets with a couple half burned down houses occupying the block might be a better focus. Or what about all the abandoned buildings filled with tires because people don’t want to pay the correct fees to have them disposed of properly? Not blight? Wrong! Not only blight but a hazard. If that building was to catch on fire like numerous ones have, your now causing more work for the understaffed firefighters in the city.
So I say to you Mayor Duggan and your whole office, you need to educate yourselves on how to keep culture alive in the the city. Graffiti is a subculture that has gone more mainstream in the past few years and its popularity in the art community has grown as well. Its like any other “art” form, it’s subjective. Not all graffiti is bad. When I’m out taking pictures in the city, do you know how many times I see people biking or running on the new bike paths to stop and have their photo taken with art in the background? And that said art is graffiti. It happens way more than your aware of. Why can’t Detroit have a Public Arts Director like other major cities? Then that person could be in charge of setting up legal walls of public art all over the city. These walls could be on a rotation to give the public something new to look at every few months. And quite possibly give some of our home grown talent the opportunity to continue to grow in their craft that they have grown to love.
If you think about some neighborhoods with colorful graffiti on their streets (well did), it gives them a break from looking at the real “blight” of burned down houses and abandoned buildings that have been left standing for years.
No one sees those huh? Graff is the real problem. Hmm interesting…