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Blog Archive: May 10, 2011

Artist Takes On ‘Unattractive’ Graffiti

Gallery owner Bob Daniels figured if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

After cleaning up graffiti and battling taggers for years, he’s showing the city that there’s more to graffiti than vandalism.

Local artist Bryce Huffman is painting a mural on the garage door of Earls Court Gallery, in a back alley off Ottawa Street North, to cover unsightly “hip-hop” tags. “I always thought that alley strip that Rick Mercer passes during his rants was so cool. Some of that (art) is amazing,” Daniels said. But in this back alley, taggers have spoiled walls and doors, fences and cars. “I think what annoys me is that it’s totally unattractive, total disregard. Why does this jerk think I want to look at that?” Daniels asks, pointing to a pair of “tags” on a neighboring wall.

To help clean up, Hamilton introduced a commercial property improvement grant (CPIG) in 2001 to help small businesses improve their spaces. Business owners in any of the city’s 13 business improvement areas can apply once a year for 50/50 funding for improvements to their facades — including murals.

Legally, the onus is on property owners to remove graffiti. There are volunteer groups that help with removal, but professional chemical [more]