Hi Michael, thank you for the links you sent and your thoughtful response and advice. Very much appreciated. All the best, Donald
Art in Public Places, Project Manager
Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission
915 I Street, 3rd Floor
Sacramento, Ca 95814
Here is the City of Albuquerque’s Mural Policy http://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/public-art/documents/official-mural-plan2014-final.pdf , other policies for Public Art can be found here http://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/public-art/about-public-art
I am currently interning for ABQ’s Public Art Department – which is called the Public Art Urban Enhancement Division. I am currently attending University of New Mexico for a MFA in Art and Ecology. My practice is based in community and in my past I have work in San Bernardino, California to help build up community, especially in the arts. I helped organize murals throughout my city through empowering the local graffiti crews. I believe while you create your policy go into the Neighborhoods and get feedback from people of all backgrounds don’t just focus on those most vocal.
What I saw happen in my hometown was the older generation hated our artwork, while all the youth and young adults and some older loved it, Some of it was placed in impoverished areas and never got tagged. The older folks only wanted to keep to past themes like pioneers & route 66. They didn’t want to allow artists to be creative, think about this when you compose your commission or advisory board who approves murals.
I feel when you try to restrict public art you’re really restricting who has the power to speak and transform public space within your community. This can create animosity amongst people especially those who don’t understand the city processes, all they see is art going up that they may not agree with. When it comes to graffiti, it is a culture rich in history starting as a way for urban youth to speak out about the ghettos they lived in due to poverty. It’s the written word of hip-hop a culture born form Jazz and Funk. I would suggest looking into sanctioning a few free walls throughout your city. ABQ has one and it is always filled with new work. When you give people a place to create you may be giving them the opportunity to choose legal art over vandalism.
Just my ideas from my past experiences. In ABQ they seem to do things right including letting people who own private property paint it at will, following the basic law of nothing racist, degrading to culture or sexual (pornography). If neighbors complain the city acts.
Good luck with your policy!
ABQ Public Art Intern
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