Graffiti has a place
I was a bit dismayed when I saw the Montague Police has proposed to not only make unwanted graffiti more of a crime (isn’t it already?) but to require building owners to remove it and outlaw spray paint. Unwanted defacement is one thing, but to restrict what a building owner can allow is going way too far, especially since Turners Falls for one, had made a major comeback by promoting public art via the River Culture project. Consider, if you will, the Mission District of San Francisco, one I know fairly well due to family living there. We spent the last three weeks wandering the side streets and alleys amidst the hundreds of stunning murals. This public display of art is what happens when you support “graffiti” artists to be more than spray and hide. When allowed on private property with owner’s permission, it reduces unsightly and unwanted graffiti, and even reduces police work. One group has taken it so far as to arrange for licensing of the artist’s work, to provide a source of income for budding artists. Look up “Balmy Alley” or “The Precita Eyes Muralists” (at precitaeyes.org). SO I urge you in Montague to vote against this ban, and support River Culture and your Local Cultural Council for public art projects.
RICH ROTH Greenfield