PPNA Happenings

Happenings, history and news of the Prospect Park Neighborhood and Ypsilanti

Art?

Posted by ppna on March 26, 2009

Over on the Mark Maynard site there is a lot of discussion about the graffiti ‘artists’ that were arrested the other night.

Here are the facts as I understand them —

The owner of the vacant ‘Smiths’ furniture building downtown sat on his roof waiting for the ‘artists’ to come by. The fact that he is a landlord that maintains an empty building should not have any bearing on the fact that he didn’t want graffiti on his building.

The owner contacted the police and they responded in force. They caught the ‘artists’ with 7 cans of spray paint and some stencils.

Some folks in the community expressed support for these stenciled pieces of ‘art’ which have appeared throughout the city. Other people want to see this type of thing stopped or offer an alternative location for public art.

I do know there has been official discussion about a ‘graffiti wall’ or some sort of area for public art and I can see this happening in the cities future.

Personally, I don’t find the stenciled items interesting but I understand that there are people that enjoy these works of ‘art.’ The main issue I have is when these folks place their ‘art’ in totally inappropriate places like on historic markers or on places which are incredibly difficult to remove. If these works of art were placed in a ‘temporary’ fashion I’d probably enjoy them.

In the same conversation on Mark Maynard the subject of the sticker folks was also brought up. The people that put stickers on signs are not artists they are just vandals. Defacing a street sign which the city has to clean or replace isn’t art. Placing a sticker of a slice of pizza over the hours of permitted parking is not creative in any way. Putting a Dirty Bros. sticker on every crosswalk sign in the city isn’t creative.

In defense of public artists I must say that I really enjoyed the ‘found kitten’ flyer that was posted outside the Corner Brewery a couple of days ago. If you didn’t see it it was a typical ‘found kitten’ flyer except it had a picture of an angry possum. This flyer was creative and non destructive and I enjoyed it a lot.

Is This Art?

Is This Art?

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2 Responses to “Art?”

  1. The question for me is not “Is it Art?”, but should it be illegal or not? Michelangelo could paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling on the side of my house and I might believe that it is “Art”, but I would still want his sorry ass arrested for vandalism.

  2. Ed H. said

    When did Smith Furniture go out of business? I don’t live in Ypsi anymore. I bought some stuff there back in the 80s. Just curious about the history of Ypsi business.

    By the way, Michelangelo was commissioned to do that painting on the ceiling. He didn’t break in there and do it.

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