Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Art for Circ's Sake: Taking It to the Streets

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Art for Circ's Sake: Taking It to the Streets

Article excerpt

The best solution to offensive speech is more speech, journalism's conventional wisdom states. So maybe it makes sense that at the East Bay Express, the best solution to graffiti vandalism is turning out to be ... more graffiti.

At wit's end with the tagging, stickering, and just plain battering that can turn brand-new racks into barely operable eyesores within a single week, the San Francisco Bay Area alt-weekly last year tried inviting graffitists and other street artists to spray-paint new racks, which were coated with a sealant and set out on the streets.

It worked. "It's been amazing, it 100% does work," says East Bay Express Publisher Jody Colley. "I still visit some of the racks we put out last summer, and for the most part they are absolutely untouched."

The most dramatic evidence is the Express rack located at the Telegraph Avenue entrance to the University of California, Berkeley, the epicenter of the early 1960s Free Speech Movement and ever since, a haven for anarchistic expression that can tolerate anything but order. …

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