For both merchants and residents alike, maintaining a clean and aesthetically pleasing community is difficult enough without worrying about the constant blight of graffiti and vandalism. Community groups and city agencies spend thousands of dollars every year in order to help fight the barrage of spray painted tags and doodles strewn throughout the city.
In order to help push back this unsightly trend, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Department Of Public Works has started StreetSmARTS, a community program designed to connect merchants and local artists in order to plan and implement standing murals in public space. The program itself aims to pair wanting merchants faced with constant graffiti problems with respected community artists, approved by the SF Arts Commission, who will then design a mural and decide on a final layout with the land owner. By connecting merchants and artists, the SF Arts Commission is ensuring that local muralists have a venue for their work and the merchants can enjoy their property with a consistent theme and worry less about unwanted dÃ©cor on their establishment.
In short, the program aims to fight fire with fire. It has been proven in the past that even though people may assume that the individuals responsible for most tagging are working out of disrespect for their community, time has shown again and again that large established art pieces can help to curb the unsightly recurrence of wanton graffiti.
One example of this is the Clarion Alley mural project in the Mission District which has established this once small dismal, graffiti laden alley into somewhat of a tourist attraction for the neighborhood.
Though the alley has a small group of resident who help to maintain it, the dozens of murals and pieces there remain largely untouched by random acts of tagging because the budding artists who would typically just scrawl their name across the wall maintain a certain level of respect for the large pieces of work that is already in place.
This preexisting level of respect within the art community is what the SF Arts Commission has utilized in order to make the StreetSmARTS program a success. Having already contracted dozens of murals throughout the city, most notably on Central Market, the SF Arts Commission hopes to make this year bigger than the last. If you or someone you know wants to become involved or has had trouble with graffiti in the past please visit theStreetSmARTS website for more information.
SF Arts Commission: StreetSmARTS
Tired of buffing out unwanted graffiti? The San Francisco Arts Commission and the Department of Public Works may have an answer for you: StreetSmARTS. Studies have shown that mural-painted walls incur far less tagging than blank walls. The StreetSmARTS program provides vetted artists for you to select from who will paint a mural on your wall with a design that is approved by YOU. For more information on how to get involved, click here.
Studies have shown that mural-painted walls incur far less tagging than blank walls. The StreetSmARTS program provides vetted artists for you to select from who will paint a mural on your wall with a design that is approved by YOU. For examples of walls painted in our 2010 pilot year, please click here.
To participate in StreetSmARTS, you simply need to provide the funds for supplies (approximately $1,500). With the reduction in graffiti abatement, you will see a return on your investment in no time. Interested property owners should contact Tyra Fennell at 415-252-2597 orÂ firstname.lastname@example.org