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Posts Tagged ‘Newburyport/Rockport’

Here’s a story about how a city counterintuitively addressed its graffiti problem by offering a place to do graffiti.

Jeremy Fox writes at the Boston Globe that the graffiti mural began as a response to the growing problem of offensive messages sprayed on a wall facing the train track. That wall, he reports, “has become a local institution with a national and even international following.

“In the process, this wall at the Clemenzi Industrial Park has also become one of just a few spaces in the region where graffiti is officially sanctioned, which may help protect nearby walls from unwanted images and messages.”

(Don’t you love words like “sanctioned,” which means one thing and also its opposite?)

“John Clemenzi, who manages the property that his family has owned for four decades, said that when he began allowing artists to paint on the building’s rear wall, Beverly was in the midst of ‘a horrible graffiti problem.’ But in recent years, he said, ‘I rarely if at all see any graffiti elsewhere in the city.’ …

“The change began about a dozen years ago, when two Montserrat College of Art students approached Clemenzi with a proposal to decorate the wall, which faces the tracks for the Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail line. …

“He agreed to let the young artists decorate a small section, 40 feet of what he estimates is a total length of about 800 feet.

“He set three ground rules: Clean up after yourselves, no offensive messages, and don’t paint on the building’s brick faces. The students agreed to follow those rules and to help police the area, and over time, the sanctioned graffiti grew to cover the wall.” Read the rest of the story here.

Photo: John Blanding/Globe Staff
Artists worked at the Clemenzi Industrial Park in Beverly. Since people began spraypainting the wall a decade ago, the drawing of graffiti has fallen elsewhere in the city.

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