I loved the post Kaleidoscope by fellow blogger, C. B. Wentworth. C. B. created an interesting poem inspired by a photo of Graffiti in a local skate park.
That got me thinking about some programs in my hometown that have made an attempt to control graffiti in our fair city.
Take Pride, Winnipeg! Inc. ‘is a private, non-profit organization committed to inspiring civic pride, raising public awareness and promoting citizen responsibility in making the city of Winnipeg clean and beautiful’, according to their home page .
They have been serving our city for twenty years and one of their many programs is the Mural Program, which ‘has been an integral part in keeping graffiti and grime off of the walls of city buildings’. Not only do they provide help to home and business owners who want to get rid of their unsightly and gang-related graffiti, they also use the talents of local artists to create beautiful wall murals on the sides of buildings, thus reducing graffiti and adding to the colourful scenery of our historic city. They have a website, The Murals of Winnipeg, that showcases all 400 posters that can be found around town and also contains artist profiles.
One group responsible for some of the murals is Graffiti Gallery, ‘an entity that is truly unique for Winnipeg, and likely all of North America. It’s a space, a youth community art centre, where young artists can meet, work, research, exchange ideas, learn skills and show their work in an environment that both encourages and sees the value in their work.’ It is the only program of its kind in North America, providing free lessons, materials and space for young people to explore their creativity. It encourages those who might be at risk to explore better options than illegally tagging buildings in their neighbourhoods and focusing their imaginations in a more positive way.
A few years ago, I was inspired to take a handful of photos of these great murals in my particular neighbourhood. I thought the pictures could be turned into a beautiful coffee table type book. (I also liked the historical aspects of these paintings.)
I approached the man in charge of Take Pride and was informed that most of the wall murals were already on their website for people to enjoy, a much less expensive project than printing out 400 or so colour photographs. Since I was unable to copy any of the ones from the website to show you, I’m so glad I took these, especially this one which was destroyed in a fire after I took it:
I think that’s about all I have to say on the matter, except to this; we still get the undesirable graffiti, like any other city, but this put a new spin on things, at least for me. I’m glad our city has these programs and it makes me proud to live here. 🙂