Street Art

Legacies of Respect: Culture, Politics, Art, and the Community Mural Tradition (Part One)

Chicago’s community mural movement coincided with the emergence of the modern graffiti movement in Philadelphia and New York—underground subcultures which, like Oakland and Chicago, found their artistic voices in expressing messages born out of inner-city life, strife, resistance, and resilience. It also helped give rise to the notion of community-based art lending a sense of cultural identity and attachment to place, long before the term “creative placemaking” came into vogue in public art circles.

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Abatement Alternatives: Why Oakland Needs A Mural Program (Part Two)

In Part One of this series, the Community Rejuvenation Project’s (CRP) work and murals in general received unexpected praise from an unlikely source – a city abatement worker known as Erase, who publicly stated abatement was a waste of money, and that murals might be a better, more cost-efficient, alternative. The post went on to detail extensively why abatement is a money pit which is problematic on many levels, and propose a solution: shift some of the more than seven-figures…

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The Saga of Cleveland’s Controversial “137” Mural

Public art exists in a space between censorship, gentrification, community engagement, and notions of aesthetic value. These are the takeaways from a recent mural painted in Cleveland by CRP Executive Director and founder Desi Mundo, which became a source of controversy as well as a catalyst for a lengthy community discussion around these topics. It all started when Mundo traveled to Cleveland to give a talk for Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC), a non-profit arts advocacy group. The…

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Rethinking the Abatement Industrial Complex from a Public Art Policy Framework

Since its founding in 2007, the Community Rejuvenation Project has sought to transform communities with holistic, vibrant, and uplifting murals which engage and inspire viewers. A large part of our work, however, has been overcoming negative perceptions of street art, which is often linked to vandalism and youth crime. We have also seen the need for sounder, saner, and more sensible policy around public art and graffiti abatement, as well as for more communication and better cooperation between all stakeholders…

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“Here and Now” Live-Painting Event Features CRP Artists

Street Art in Oakland is on the rise. Many streets in West and East Oakland  have been turned into virtual galleries with vibrant murals of urban expression, and Uptown/downtown isn’t far behind. Not surprisingly, these efforts – which include the approximately 100 Oakland murals painted by the Community Rejuvenation Project over the last three years – have come to the attention of gallery owners, who are beginning to embrace the street aesthetic as a unique facet of Oakland’s urban art…

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Street Art vs. Gang Injunctions

This is the third in a three part series by the Community Rejuvenation Project on the perpetual criminalization of aerosol culture, the abatement industry and the politics of incarceration. In the last two articles, we address the inflated penalties and intense criminalization of the aerosol movement. This is further demonstrated in the article below. MTA crew has been targeted with the first ever gang injunction against a writing crew, apparently in response to a huge “blockbuster” painted on the walls…

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