Rocky View Publishing reporter disappointed by vandalism
Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 02:43 pm
Graduation; a time for excitement, plans for the future and a no-holds-barred celebration of finally being free from teachers, classes and the shackles of a teenager on the cusp of adulthood. It’s a big deal and I totally get that, but what I do take issue with is the vandalism someone from the Class of 2014 did to the Airdrie Horticulture Society sign.
Here’s the thing, I know graduation pranks are somewhat of a rite of passage for a graduating class. Take a drive through the country and you’ll see remnants of past classes spray painted on old farm buildings and overpasses.
Even in my high school we had a traditional prank of throwing watermelons from the top of the stairs on the second floor into the school’s main foyer. So I’m not opposed to pranks per se, but what I am opposed to is the destruction of property and footing the bill for repairs to the property owner.
There is some amazing street art out there that elevates the area surrounding it and makes people smile, or think, or just take a minute to appreciate it.
Now, I am in no way suggesting people should go out and participate in unsanctioned street art but I am saying there is a massive difference between actual street art and the vandalism at the Airdrie Horticultural Society. To see the ugly and unnecessary addition to the sign, see page 3. It’s just “Class of 2014” haphazardly spray painted in black across the entire sign. The font is barely legible and the spacing leaves much to be desired. In truth it is just unattractive and very ghetto-looking, for lack of a better term.
I am no art expert but I do appreciate the creativity and skills of some of the street artists out there.
I think many people know or have seen the work of Banksy, who uses graffiti art as a form of political activism. Just one example of Banksy’s artistic activism is “Girl Frisks Solider” an image of a young girl conducting a weapons pat-down on a solider that was done in 2005 on the Israeli concrete security barrier as a protest against its construction.
What I like about the work of Banksy is that the art is actually something I want to stop and look at. I want to understand the message behind the image and I want to see more of it. Unlike vandalism, Banksy is actually creating works of art.
There are tons of other examples of some pretty amazing street or graffiti art at graffitistudio.net/graffiti-artists but I don’t have the space to name them all here.
Another really neat street art that I’ve become interested in because it is kitschy, has an almost retro feel and is just plain fun is yarn bombing, also known as guerrilla knitting (which is my favourite term for it). It’s graffiti knitting that uses colourful knit or crocheted yarn instead of paint. Basically people will knit “cozies” for trees, signs, statues or even cars.
Again I am not condoning unauthorized street art, but I do like the whimsy of guerrilla knitting and the fact that it is not a permanent medium and can be easily removed from the objects.
In all honesty, yarn bombing just makes me smile.
I suppose my point to all this is a message to the perpetrators of the “Class of 2014” vandalism and it’s simply this, what you did was not appreciated. It’s not attractive and instead of adding to the beauty of our community, it detracts from it.
I’m sure when you decided this was great idea, you weren’t thinking of the impact it would have on others. It’s going to cost real money to replace or clean that sign you damaged, something I’m sure the Horticultural Society did not plan or budget for.
Not only that but you made our community and whatever school you graduated from look bad. I’m sure your actions will only feed the anger some people have toward teens in general and so you’ve not done yourself any favours in that regard either.
I know it was just a prank to you but to me, and I’m guessing to the horticulture society, it was just crass and uncalled for.
Next time maybe take a minute to think about your community and take pride in the beauty and hard work of other people to make it beautiful, and respect that by not creating unsightly vandalism.