Community Art Program

The Development of a Street Art Program in Ann Arbor

This story is important to anyone getting involved in public art and murals. On one level, it documents the process, including the bureaucracy and committees, that take place when a city decides to move forward with a public art initiative. The story also demonstrates the deep impact of “street art.” Ann Arbor is far from Miami and Art Basel but its city planners and public art commissioners have taken notice, including the use of the terms “street art” in its…

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Kansas Mural Program Transforms a Neighborhood.

For the most part, the approach used here by Kansas City reflects the values pushed by the Community Rejuvenation Project. CRP believes in community engagement, social relevance and positive messaging in the works, and reflecting the neighborhood residents in its work. We also like to concentrate in a specific area and transform multiple locations to maximize the impact of our work, in the same way that this program did. We believe that the city, state and county governments need to…

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Deconstructing the Mural Permit Bureaucracy Challenge.

Yet another debate about the validity of aerosol culture. In this case, a property owner commissioned a mural on her property with a positive message, “Community.” In an effort to adhere more to bureaucracy than community values and basic common sense, the city of Duncan is debating whether or not the owner should be fined and the mural should be destroyed because she did not get a permit.  Permit processes are one of several bureaucratic attempts to silence creativity. By…

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Innovation: Century Debuts Glass Mural

The Community Rejuvenation Project is alway on the look for innovative new processes for mural-making and powerful new methods to express our message. Century’s new glass mural is an example of a creative concept that incorporates techniques that CRP has been studying such as layering. As we continue to research and develop our own approaches, we want to bring you the other fresh ideas that artists are applying!   Century College instructors Neil Johnston and John Kothera designed the new…

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The Corporate Media’s Response to Mear One’s latest piece on the Banking Elite

The power of public art and particularly the aerosol tradition has been its ability to spark dialogue. This piece by MEARone is an excellent example of how strong a piece can impact and community. MEAR’s story of his interactions with the community tells an insightful tale of his experience painting a mural that sparks such a conversation with neighborhood residents. The response to the mural is also equally telling. A business website posted several articles accusing MEAR of being anti-Semitic and…

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Billboards as Art: LA Freewalls Project

Can it be possible? Did Clear Channel, the advertising corporate giant and media homogenizer, really contact the LA Freewalls Project and offer up several of its billboards to artists? It must be a tax write-off or something. Or a publicity stunt to improve their despicable image. Regardless, Clear Channel isn’t going anywhere without a swift kick from the public and the war on advertising space continues.  CRP has long pointed out how hypocritical the gluttony of advertisement in comparison to…

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Mural Destruction and Corporate Responsibility

The story below is all too common. A new business moves into a property with a mural and covers it. In this case, the C-Town Supermarket destroyed a mural created by an after-school program. Most visual artists are not aware that murals are legally protected under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA). In this scenario, the supermarket has offered the space back to a community group, not necessarily the original artists, and has not publicly committed any funds towards the…

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What’s Missing from San Jose’s Abatement Strategy

The wisdom of  San Jose’s privatization of graffiti abatement is still in question. Contractor Graffiti Protective Coatings went $166,700 over budget in its first year. The greater issue is the failure to utilize a holistic approach that includes murals in its long-term strategy. San Jose was the poster child for a community based abatement strategy without murals, when it began passing out buckets of paint to its citizens and organizing teams of volunteers to go after graffiti. When Rick Stanton…

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Fox News Instigates Controversy over Boston Mural

Fox News is no stranger to using their position as “journalists” to promote one-sided arguments and even instigate censorship. So while it is not surprising that they have twisted their patriotism against Freedom of Speech, it is still nauseating. We’ve seen the media drum up attacks that have shifted policy and gotten people like Van Jones removed from positions of power. What’s notable here is how Fox creates the controversy simply by labeling the mural as such. There is a…

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Interview with Tunisian Aerosol Writer el Seed

Two weeks ago, CRP featured a story from CNN on el Seed. Writing in other alphabets outside of the phonetic is something that is both exciting and inspiring. It is particularly powerful when the artist is writing in their native language, as el Seed is. It is also especially interesting to see how the mainstream American media has picked up his story and compare it to the response that he has gotten at home.  Last week, Tunisia’s tallest minaret went…

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