Thursday, September 9, 2010

Paid by council to graffiti park

PLENTY of spay cans have been emptied at Kemmis Park in recent days – but it’s been paid professionals, rather than vandals, who have been painting graffiti at the skate bowl.
Kemmis Park has long been a graffiti hotspot and now Mackay Regional Council has pulled out the same weapons as the vandals in a bid to win the graffiti war.
The council has employed professional graffiti artists to paint the skate bowl as part of an initiative to curb unwanted tags and other graffiti at the park.
The Mackay Regional Council spends $100,000 on cleaning up vandalism, including graffiti, across the region each year.
It’s believed the Kemmis Park professional graffiti project will cost council no more than $2000, but community services and facilities portfolio councillor Karen May believes it will be money well spent.
Cr May said the council was hopeful the professional graffiti job would discourage youth from vandalising the park.
“Prevention is way better than a cure and that’s our aim,” she said.
“Graffiti has been a huge problem there (Kemmis Park) over the years.”
The dramatic makeover of the skate bowl comes after residents petitioned council to improve the facility.
“Council received a petition signed by hundreds of young people, community members and businesses in the area and council is pleased to be able to respond to the community’s wishes by working with young people on this fantastic public art project,” she said.
“It is well known that youth spaces are better maintained and embraced by young people if they have a sense of ownership over the space and that is why council’s youth support team is working with young people to beautify the area.”
Cr May said she expected the newly painted skate bowl would be a hit with the youth who frequented the park.
“Council has hired a Mackay professional artist, Jake Shearman, who is well known in the area for producing bright and inviting artwork; and when finished this artwork will make the Kemmis Park a much more inviting place for the region’s young people,” she said.
“After it’s completed there will be some (graffiti) workshops for young people.”
The graffiti mural, which is almost complete, features a BMX rider, a DJ and a skateboarder. It was designed by Mr Shearman, who likes to refer to his work as aerosol art rather than graffiti.
Cr May said the skate bowl would be re-opened to the public before the school holidays.


Taken from: Daily Mercury

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