Local gallery throwing support behind artist facing graffiti-related charges
Published Friday, August 17, 2012 3:40PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, August 17, 2012 6:49PM MDT
A day after police laid mischief charges against a local artist for graffiti vandalism, the owner of a local gallery and art store is throwing her support behind him.
On Thursday, police laid 35 charges of mischief under $5,000 against Jamie Robert Law – after receiving a number of complaints of vandalism.
The complaints were made between June 2009 and July 2012 of stenciled graffiti vandalism on private and public property, mostly in the Whyte Avenue area.
For the owner of The Paint Spot Kim Fjordbotten, Law’s work is art, no matter what the medium.
“It can just be fun and interactive and artists can collaborate with other artists in a free space, it’s free expression, it’s just a different type of canvas,” Fjordbotten said.
While she believes street artists should have permission before painting, she said the City of Edmonton needs to embrace graffiti as a form of artwork.
“You need to provide authentic alternatives for the artist to work on, whether that means more free walls, or better understanding of where appropriate placement is,” Fjordbotten said.
The city’s motto for dealing with graffiti is ‘Record, Report and Remove’ – and if this isn’t done within two weeks, the owner of the property could face a $250 fine.
Capital City Cleanup isn’t against giving street artists space to work on – but admit it could create problems.
“They’re a great benefit to the art community,” Sharon Chapman with Capital City Cleanup said. “[But] they’re not necessarily a great benefit in terms of preventing graffiti, because they do send mixed messages.”
The Edmonton Police Service is reminding Edmontonians to report graffiti vandalism by calling the City of Edmonton at 311, and to report graffiti vandalism in progress by calling 911.
Law has been scheduled to appear in court on September 26.
With files from Amanda Anderson