Monday, April 9

How About a Mural?

First, let me be clear. I am not off hiatus. When I have the urge to blog, I will be posting more regularly.

However, I am taking a break in my hiatus to make a proposal for our local concussion generator (the Skate Park). As any recent visitor knows, the graffiti there has gotten much worse. Some of it is offensive, obscene and racist.

My six year old son has decided that he wants to learn to skate, especially now that ski season is over. Therefore, I am spending much more time there. To be honest, a great deal of that graffiti raises questions I don't really want my son asking yet. One of which is whether it is OK to "color" on city property.

It appears that our city commission has decided that it isn't worth their time to police the graffiti regs at the skate park. To be honest, I can understand their reasoning. However, there has to be a middle ground.

We are an extremely artistic community. Why don't we make the entire skate park into not just a place for kids to congregate, but also into urban art?

The city should invite local artists to cover every last inch of concrete with art. It could even be made into an event (with a juried competition). Whaddya think?


Peggy Beltrone said...

I like the sound of the carrot approach you advocate. By instilling ownership in the skate park with a juried art show we signal to youth that they are valued in our community.
A quick google search shows many communities worldwide are struggling with the issue of graffiti on skate parks. It would make sense to look for successful strategies employed in communities similar to ours. It appears that some communities provide one wall for graffiti at the park and ask that the bowls and other parts of the park remain untouched.
In any event, I applaud the City for its vision in securing and matching funding for this Skate Park. It is smartly placed on our trail system with easy access from downtown neighborhoods. It is a marvelous generator of physical activity for our youth and others with just fleeting (fleeing) memories of being young.

a-fire-fly said...

Several of the skate park users have endorsed this idea. As soon as I find my copy of the sign code, I will comment again.

Anonymous said...

Will it be Christ or will it be contunued Chaos at the skatepark? Unfortunately it looks like some Montanans are choosing chaos rather than a quality painting of Christ at the skatepark. Lord Jesus, have mercy on Great Falls.

Treasure State Jew said...

Hey Anon;

Not that I have anything against your expression of religion, but did you notice that this site is called Treasure State JUDAISM?

If you want to spend a lot of time talking about Jesus, GYOB.

Anonymous said...

I do see your point. There is definately some offensive and inappropriate material there. And the city is there usually about once a week to take care of some of it.

You're idea is good...kind of. I believe that if we WERE to hold some sort of contest, I think it would make sense to keep the theme urban in design i.e. graffiti-style. I'm sorry, but I really don't want to go down there and ride around on some retarded mountain landscape.

However, do you think that this contest would just suddenly stop the tagging that was already taking place? Probably not. And once space was taken up, it's just going to continue over the contest pieces.

I don't know, maybe you have already concidered this, but in case you didn't...there ya go.

talan said...

Hello there. Just randomly googling some info and ran across this page which it seems that even Mayor Stebbins goes to. Anyways, back on point, and i know this topics a little old, but I am a 21 year old who absolutely loves skateboarding here at the park. You could ask anyone at the park if they know me and 95% would say they do. So I feel pretty confident in speaking on behalf of them. And I believe that we (the ones that use the park) should be heard, not just the city comissioners, the mayor, and other citizens who basically ignore us unless there is something "bad" going on there. Most of us think that 99% of the graffiti that is there is crappy. Most of it was done by little 10 year old "gangsta" kids in the middle of the night which we cant really police seeing as they go at night with flashlights, and we arent really allowed there past dark since the lights are never turned on (whole different rant about that). We all would love to have some amazing graffiti at the park but those talented enough around town aren't really willing to do it b/c most of them dont want to chance the GFPD seeing them who dont exactly like them that much. I have called friends from Missoula who are absolutely incredible artists who wont do it either b/c of the same issues. Its something we all are willing to work with but I dont know how willing the city or law enforcement really is (insert memory from 9/11/05 of me, a friend, and Tony Hawks manager in the back of a cop car after they were kicked out by police who threatened to mace us all (mostly 10-15 year olds there at the time) so I said that was B.S. and was arrested for disorderly conduct for "knowingly cursing at a peace officer") So thats why the people with the most talent are wary of this. But any input from anyone from the City Comission, Mayor offices, or any other branch of local gov't or just citizens in general would be great. Everyone at the park has actually thrown this idea around, there are a few issues that would have to be discussed first but I do think it could be worked out in some way. Thats all. Ciao.