Not unlike most art, graffiti is a divisive topic. Some people love it, some people hate it. What is beauty in one eye, is a travesty in another.
In this story published today you’ll find a story about an initiative to bring to life a prominent area of our community currently sitting in a grey state. The idea is to bring together youth to design and paint a mural on the underside of the Nelson Bridge right across from the Lakeside Park parking lot.
The project is called Colours of Nelson. It’s a joint effort that includes the City of Nelson, the Nelson and District Arts Council, Daybreak Rotary, the Nelson and District Youth Centre and the Nelson Police Department. Its ultimate goal is to cut down on annoying tagging and unwanted graffiti. To give young people a place to express themselves and in turn show off the impressive talents of youth to the masses.
It’s sure to rile at least a few residents, but it’s hard to cast doubt on a project with so much buy-in and consultation.
The truly encouraging aspect of this project is those involved are starting from the roots of what is seen as a growing problem in our community. Unwelcome spray paint has been on the rise in the last few years. Some of it is tasteful, much of it ugly and unless it’s invited by the property owner none of it is legal.
More than a mural on the side of a bridge base, this project is exploring what positive steps can be taken to combat unwanted tagging and graffiti. That discussion is important and whatever small steps towards a solution come as a result, the overall community will benefit.
Public art is always a flash point for controversy. We can only hope those who might have a concern with the idea give it a chance.
If you drive by the proposed canvas you’ll find a grey, lifeless scene. Bringing that corner of the city to life through dialogue — and ultimately art — is a test case worth putting effort into.