Block Club Chicago:
Could Chicago Become U.S. ‘Capital Of Street Art’?
After Embarrassing Mistakes, Plan To Save Murals Emerges
Streets and San crews blotted out work by famous artists across the city. Now, an alderman and a city agency are on a mission to celebrate — not erase — such work.
“Big companies can put ads all over the city and it’s hard to go about your everyday life without being bombarded with advertisements and messages from every angle,” [Max Temkin, co-creator of the popular Cards Against Humanity game] said. “To me, street art represents the other side of that, people claiming civic space for themselves, for the public good, to share something that’s really joyful and surprising and meaningful.”
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Now that’s something to celebrate. I am obviously fond of “street art”, and would love to see more of it around the city, as long as it retains its subversive spirit.
I like the sound of this…
“Not all murals are graffiti and not all graffiti is public art,” [city cultural official Mark Kelly], who was a longtime administrator at art-focused Columbia College Chicago, said. “Oftentimes, graffiti is a public nuisance and in those cases it should be removed.”
Emphasizing that “public art should be respected and protected,” Kelly said that his agency, guided by the ordinance, will work with the Department of Streets and Sanitation to protect murals.
“This ordinance will mandate a more careful and coordinated process for identifying what is and what is not public art,” he said. “The process will encourage and protect murals and establish a process for treating damaged and endangered murals properly.”