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Rocky View Publishing reporter disappointed by vandalism

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 02:43 pm

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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. Itís 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.

Hereís the thing, I know graduation pranks are somewhat of a rite of passage for a graduating class. Take a drive through the country and youíll 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 schoolís main foyer. So Iím 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. Itís just ďClass of 2014Ē 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 Banksyís artistic activism is ďGirl Frisks SoliderĒ 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 but I donít have the space to name them all here.

Another really neat street art that Iíve 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). Itís graffiti knitting that uses colourful knit or crocheted yarn instead of paint. Basically people will knit ďcoziesĒ 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 ďClass of 2014Ē vandalism and itís simply this, what you did was not appreciated. Itís not attractive and instead of adding to the beauty of our community, it detracts from it.

Iím sure when you decided this was great idea, you werenít thinking of the impact it would have on others. Itís going to cost real money to replace or clean that sign you damaged, something Iím 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. Iím sure your actions will only feed the anger some people have toward teens in general and so youíve not done yourself any favours in that regard either.

I know it was just a prank to you but to me, and Iím 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.


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