Graffiti Wednesday: Graffiti-by-Permission

For the second time since I began photographing graffiti in Oklahoma, someone mentioned that I needed to checkout this alley off Broadway in Oklahoma City where the owner of an old brick warehouse provides freelance graffitists a canvas to practice their art. I’ve only visited it one time, but I assume the artwork is painted over with new graffiti on a regular basis.

I work part-time as an arts advocate. I have many hopes and dreams for increasing support of arts, culture and the creative industries in Oklahoma. I am currently occupied with advocating for public funding for the arts, but in the fall, my focus will encompass more fully advocacy for arts education. This helps fuel my interest in by-permission graffiti zones like the one featured in these pictures.

graffiti
One thing I appreciate about this artform is how graffitists work in various building features including doorways, electrical boxes and meters. The graffiti becomes camouflage.

According to the website Graffiti Hurts, graffiti removal costs taxpayers in cities acrsoss the U.S. about $1-3 per person each year. While graffiti zones can’t eliminate all artistic graffiti (different from gang tagging), it can reduce it and thus reduce costs to taxpayers. That money could be shifted to a multitude of creative projects including public art and cultural programming. Dream with me, people.

wheat pasting
I love all the colors, but none more than the blue Oklahoma sky.

You know what would be really cool? I mean, what would make me as happy as a tornado in trailer park? An opera in a graffiti zone. I mean, have you lived your whole life and never heard an opera? You’re missing something special. Check out Cimarron Opera (Oklahoma City) and Tulsa Opera, which, by the way, premiers Dead Man Walking of Sean Penn fame February 25.

Graffiti in Okllahoma City
It’s hard to believe a tax collector would subject himself to my graffiti adventures, but he does.
Thanks, Robert, for helping me jump fences and walk tracks.
robot graffiti
I don’t know what it is, but I love it.

Comments

  1. jenx67 says

    Thank you! I want every day to be Graffiti Wednesday. I have a lot of material. =) Thanks for the feedback. If you know any graffitists/graffiti-fiends send them my way. I’d love to interview one/some for a research project, even if it’s by email or anonymous. Thanks!!

  2. says

    Jen, I have seen other graffiti-by-permission areas in other cities.  I really think this idea totally ROCKS!  So neat about the assistance from your tax collector friend!  And I totally agree with you about the last piece of graffiti you show here–really cool and who cares what it is?

  3. Kstarilicious says

    This area is awesome.. and I’m not sure who did the piece in the last picture but I’m pretty sure the same person did some work on The Womb. I am new to your blog but I have been loving the Graffiti Wednesdays!

  4. jenx67 says

    It seemed so obvious once I read it, but I still found it interesting. The definition of graffiti legally hinges on “without permission.”

  5. says

    You are just a fountain of ideas and Robert is such a nice guy.

    Jumping fences and walking tracks. You should get yourself a GPS and do some geocaching while you are graffiti tracking. Urban caches are also found in the fringe areas of urbania. Where there are no private security guards.

  6. Territorymom says

    I love this art form. I love paintings on sides of buildings not all are considered graffiti which I don’t understand.  I guess because some are commissioned and graffiti if free.

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