|Art on brick|
This photo originally shared on Instagram
Sunday, October 24, 2021
The mural around the corner
No city or suburb is immune. Indeed, even my little corner of town experiences it - spraypainted tags on walking paths, bridge abutments, and every wall imaginable. I feel for business owners who have to contend with it not just once, but constantly. The unkindness of those who leave graffiti behind is difficult to understand.
It's also a problem not easily solved. Short of turning the neighborhood into a police state, there's not enough surveillance capacity in the world to stop it.
But, still, right-thinking communities can't afford not to try. A number of area businesses and community groups have stumbled upon an interesting reality of graffiti I-won't-call-them-artists: while they'll happily tag an empty surface until the end of time, they won't overwrite an actual piece of art. Respect takes on many odd forms, I guess.
So murals are now very much a thing, with new ones popping up all over town.
I walk past this one fairly often while I'm out with the dog. It's on an exterior wall of a nearby strip mall variety store, and for years, it sported fresh graffiti almost as quickly as the beleaguered store owner could clean it off. But since this mural - complete with sponsorship logos in the corner - went up, there has been no vandalism here.
The problem isn't solved: the bridge at the other end of the path that winds through the woods is regularly and savagely painted over, so one can argue that the scourge has simply been relocated elsewhere.
But, still, it's a start. And a pretty cool-looking one, at that.
The city of Kitchener, about an hour east of here, has done a wonderful job marketing its murals and integrating them into its local business messaging. I see opportunity to do the same here.
Until then, I'll continue to smile at the happy painted animals as I meander on past with my own happy - and very much real - animal in tow.
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