I am writing in response to response to the article “Protecting our public spaces” in issue 14, published this spring in it, the author claims that “all graffiti is public spaces.” I would like to point out that many people believe that graffiti is an art from that can benefit our public spaces just as much as sculpture, fountains, or other, more accepted art forms.
People who object to graffiti usually do so more because of where it is, not what it is. They argue, as your author does, that posting graffiti in public places constitutes an illegal act of property damage. But the location of such graffiti should not prevent the images themselves from being considered genuine art.
I would argue that graffiti is the ultimate public art form. Spray paint is a medium unlike any other. Though graffiti, the entire world has become a canvas. No one has to pay admission or travel to a museum to see this kind of art. The artists usually do not receive payment for their efforts. These works of art dotting the urban landscape are available, free of charge, to everyone who passes by.
To be clear, I do not consider random words or names sprayed on stop signs to be art. Plenty of graffiti is just vandalism, pure and simple. However, there is also graffiti that is breathtaking in its intricate detail, its realism, or its creativity. It takes great talent to create such involved designs with spray paint.
Are these creators not artists just because they use a can of spray paint instead of a paintbrush, or because they cover the side of a building rather than a canvas?
To declare that all graffiti is vandalism, and nothing more, is an overly simplistic statement that I find out of place in such a thoughtful publication as your magazine. Furthermore, graffiti is not going anywhere, so might as well find a way to live with it and enjoy its benefits. One option could be to make a percentage of public space, such as walls or benches in parks, open to graffiti artists. By doing this, the public might feel like part owners of these works of art, rather than just the victims of a crime.
The writer concludes this passage by
In the early 1920's, settlers came to Alaska looking for gold. They traveled by boat to the coastal towns of Seward and Knik, and from there by land into the gold fields. The trail they used to travel inland is known today as the lditarod Trail, one of the National Historic Trails designated by the congress of the United States. The Iditarod Trail quickly became a major thoroughfare in Alaska, as the mail and supplies were carried across this trail. People also used it to get from place to place, including the priests, ministers, and judges who had to travel between villages down this trail was via god sled. Once the gold rush ended, many gold-seekers went back to where they had come from, and suddenly there was much less travel on the lditarod Trail. The introduction of the airplane in the late 1920's meant dog teams were mode of transportation, of course airplane carrying the mail and supplies, there was less need for land travel in general. The final blow to the use of the dog teams was the appearance of snowmoniles. By the mid 1960's most Alasknas didn't even know the lditarod Trail existed, or that dos teens had played a crucial role in Alaska's early settlements. Dorothy G.Page, a self-made historian, recognized how few people knew about the former use of sled dogs as working animals and about the Iditarod Trail's role in Alaska's colorful history. To she came up with the idea to have a god sled race over the Iditarod Trail. She presented her idea to an enthusiastic musher, as dog sled drivers are known, named Joe Redington, Sr. Soon the pages and the Redintons were working together to promote the idea of the Iditarod race. Many people worked to make the first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race a reality in 1967. The Aurora Dog Mushers Club, along with men from the Adult Camp in Sutton, helped clear years of overgrowth from the first nine miles of the Iditarod Trail. To raise interest in the race, a $25,000 purse was offered, with Joe Redington donating one acre of his land to help raise the funds. The short race, approximately 27 miles long, was put on a second time in 1969. After these first two successful races, the goal was to lengthen the race a little further to the ghost town of Iditarod by 1973. However in 1972, the U.S. Army reopened the trail as a winter exercise, and so in 1973, the decision was made to take the race all the way to the city of Nome-over 1,000 miles. There were who believed it could bot be done and that it wad crazy to send a bunch out into vast, uninhabited Alaskan wilderness. But the race went! 22 mushers finished that year, and to date over 400 people have completed it.
Based on information in the passage, it can be inferred that all of the following contributed to the disuse of the Iditarod Trail except