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Guerrila Art. Invite yourselves.

Defend Grandview Park!


Learnin' by doin'

 

I think it looks good. We'd like to paint the trim, around doors, and the edge of the roof. We went back a second day, but were stopped by the old hag (“...that's MINE! That's MINE!”) and another gang of pigs. She even said she's gonna “come back and fix it.” What would be so just about her painting over our work, with some new lame ass mural? Wouldn't that make it OK for us to have painted the walls? She said all her “friends are complaining [calling] too.” We say Class War because of differences like this. She'll get her way. Unless the community around her stands up and takes things back, she'll control the neighbourhood; her and her 'friends' (of grandview park). Really! She's gonna come and paint again! Under whose authority?

It's a little confusing 'whose' mural we covered anyway. A newspaper says it was the community cops. Some old hag says it's “hers.” A mom told us it was the kids who painted the trees. Well we wanted to paint something in the neighbourhood too. There's an artist who sells his work on the street and at the sky train, his name is Stirling. I wanted to see his work prominently in the park. I think that would honour all of us. Check him out. Maybe it should be made his wall.

What is certain, is that we don't need the cops in the park, definitely not to decorate the world around us. We've been chasing them out of the park for years, that was one of our motivations for painting the washroom building. Out once and for all.

Do you know that there's a full kitchen and livable space in the old cop HQ? Does anyone remember Cameron? Paul? Ezekiel? They are a few of the people that used to be in this community. Folk like them are chased off by the community cops. “Inappropriate inhabitants” to quote the 'friends' of grandview park. There's a full livable space in the park! While people live outside in our community! Poverty is a reflection on a community. Community cops are not a solution. If you look around the park on any busy afternoon, most of the users will not fit in to the 'appropriate' vision. Venders, dope smokers, dope dealers, beer drinkers, bike polo, anarchists; will be chased off eventually. We say there is a harmony in the park already; parks are for loitering; it is working out just fine for the users of the park; the users of the park should be asked how to make the park better for them; the park should not be closed for a full year, based simply on the effect on our communities! What's inappropriate is that we're not using that kitchen. There's a Hard Rock Cafe crap souvenir T-shirt blocking the view in the window. Someone wants to hide it from our sight and lives!

At worst what happened that day, was that our strength in artistic resources proved insufficient. We learned that the park is “private property”, the pigs main concern in the matter. I think the white looks fresher, and the other art stands out sharp. Too bad we were stopped, we were starting to come together, and the trim would look nice.

An angry old lady got angry at us, not that related to us probably. Some children were disappointed, but that's not the first time, and I guess at some point it's on parents to frame the world in supportive and constructive ways. Though we were touched by learning this, and made plans to save the trees.

What we learned? We should have asked the kids. We should have asked the dope dealers, since according to them and the cops, it's these folks who keep graffiti out of the park. We should have had a solid plan and layout. We should have been in and out in the time it took to lie to some cops (two times) and talk our way out.

Should we have done it? Why not. Of course. Almost everybody loved it. Lot's of individuals helped spontaneously. We want to finish. We want to paint the world as we see fit. Colourful, and just. We want help.

 

Neighbourhood Artists.

On unceded Coast Salish territory.

No war but Class War.

 

If there are any questions, or thoughts or reactions to our actions or motivations, we'd like to hear them.

 

neighbourhoodartists@gmail.com

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Comments

Yeah, you painted over kids'

Yeah, you painted over kids' art -- art that everyone who actually spends time in the park knew was painted mostly by kids. And you left a badly painted building and some shitty tags behind.

What did this prove? That you think you bring a lot to this community, but when it comes right down to it, you don't. Well done.

You say the park isn't private property, yet you seem to want to treat it like it is, with no respect for other park users. You're hypocrites.

"Some old hag" Are you serious?

Is this how you speak about your neighbours in such misogynistic terms? Do you really believe that speaking and acting in this way moves us forward to a better understanding of how our community needs to grow and change?

Since you seem to know absolutely nothing about how the mural that you destroyed was created, I'm posting an email I recieved from it's creator, Eileen Mosca. I've posted a shorter version of this msg on the People's Front of Grandview Facebook group as well. (Shorter because FB only allows for 1000 characters.)

Please read it, and think about whether or not you should maybe try engaging in discussion before acting in such a senseless and destructive manner:

"In April the back of the fieldhouse was covered with graffiti(wll send a photo of that too), including nasty content..."Twinkie makes the little girls scream" etc...The Community Policing Ctr where I volunteer got a number of complaints. We decided that the only way to stop the recurrent tagging was to do a mural.

I am a commercial artist and have been doing murals for over 20 years, so I was asked to put in my volunteering time doing scale drawings of a mural design that would cover the building. My idea was to do a very simple design that anyone could work on. The drawings were submitted and within a week were approved by Pk Bd.

We did up some posters inviting everyone in the community to come out and paint this on Mothers Day,May 9th. We also signed up people at Stone Soup. The building was painted to cover the graffiti and the night before I outlined the design on the fieldhouse with sharpies and gave each section a number. Sunday morning we set up a table with numbered cans of paint, provided old coverall shirts, brushes, rollers etc. About 20 CPC volunteers painted and were joined by about 45 other people from the community. Some had heard about it and some were just passing by and decided to help out. Our youngest volunteer was 18 months..assisted by his mom...the oldest was in her 70's.

It was a great atmosphere, full of fun and by the end an amazed feeling of pride among the participants that they had created this art.

Six days later it was trashed by participants at the 'Block Party' protest event but I went back the next day with 2 other volunteers and we repainted the whole thing...which survived unscathed til Sunday night.

That's probably more information than you wanted....
Cheers,
Eileen"

"Old hag" Seriously? Is this

"Old hag"

Seriously? Is this how you speak about your neighbours in such misogynistic terms? Do you really believe that speaking and acting in this way moves us forward to a better understanding of how our community needs to grow and change?

Since you seem to know absolutely nothing about how the mural that you destroyed was created, I'm posting an email I received from it's creator, Eileen Mosca. I've posted a shorter version of this msg on the People's Front of Grandview Facebook group as well. (Shorter because FB only allows for 1000 characters.)

Please read it, and think about whether or not you should maybe try engaging in discussion before acting in such a senseless and destructive manner:

"In April the back of the fieldhouse was covered with graffiti(wll send a photo of that too), including nasty content..."Twinkie makes the little girls scream" etc...The Community Policing Ctr where I volunteer got a number of complaints. We decided that the only way to stop the recurrent tagging was to do a mural.

I am a commercial artist and have been doing murals for over 20 years, so I was asked to put in my volunteering time doing scale drawings of a mural design that would cover the building. My idea was to do a very simple design that anyone could work on. The drawings were submitted and within a week were approved by Pk Bd.

We did up some posters inviting everyone in the community to come out and paint this on Mothers Day,May 9th. We also signed up people at Stone Soup. The building was painted to cover the graffiti and the night before I outlined the design on the fieldhouse with sharpies and gave each section a number. Sunday morning we set up a table with numbered cans of paint, provided old coverall shirts, brushes, rollers etc. About 20 CPC volunteers painted and were joined by about 45 other people from the community. Some had heard about it and some were just passing by and decided to help out. Our youngest volunteer was 18 months..assisted by his mom...the oldest was in her 70's.

It was a great atmosphere, full of fun and by the end an amazed feeling of pride among the participants that they had created this art.

Six days later it was trashed by participants at the 'Block Party' protest event but I went back the next day with 2 other volunteers and we repainted the whole thing...which survived unscathed til Sunday night.

That's probably more information than you wanted....
Cheers,
Eileen"

http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=117685251602819&ref=ts

what's the whining about?

some disappointed kids? the "owner" of the art?
maybe somebody should have told them that the building is supposed to get torn down anyways? hey, anonymous! once you are at it let them also know that the whole park will be closed for at least 1 year.
the people that you see working in there for free tried at least to do something about their park. having talks with parents, the community,... what the park board not only neglected, they admitted that they let it turn to shit, cause they decided long time ago that they will close the park, independent of what the community is going to want. (they really need to spend some millions, otherwise "it's gone")

gentrification rocks!
soon in your neighborhood...

The park will not be closed

The park will not be closed for 1 year. Stop spreading misinformation. The project is expected to be completed by March of 2011... that is unless activists trash the project, and it takes longer than expected. (Yeah, that would really be serving the interests of the community... costing them another summer in the park. Way to teach the "pigs" a lesson.)

You say "the people" tried to do something in there, but the same could be said for the 60+ volunteers who painted the mural you destroyed. At least their mural looked like something, whereas yours is a mess, and they weren't painting over anything besides tags and whatnot.

As for the park board letting the park "Turn to shit", you are twisting the words of one individual at one meeting. When the city staffer said that they weren't planning on spending a lot of money on the park because they knew a reno was coming along. This isn't part of some grand conspiracy, it's actually wise management of resources. Anyone who looked at that park a decade ago could tell that it was run down, and a poor use of space. (Plus the park has seen many attempts at fixing if over the past 2 decades.)

As for knowing what the community wants... you guys live in a fantasy world where you believe you speak and act for the vast majority of the community, and the working class, but in fact you haven't the foggiest idea as to what they want. This is typical of any extremist group.

You may not like their process, but the city consulted with the neighbourhood, and they're making some simple improvements. Compared to your "we do what we wan because we know what's right" approach to park improvement, the city took great pains to make their process open to anyone who cared to get involved.

More green space, less asphalt, more seating, a new washroom, a skatepark, a multi-use court and a new playground/water feature are hardly signs of gentrification.

This said, I'd like to ask the author to tell us a bit about Cameron, Paul, and Ezekiel, the people you claim where chased off. What's their story?

Hey, one more thing... did

Hey, one more thing... did you guys hack up the baby swings in the park? They were destroyed a while back. If so, why?

Also, a bunch of us are

Also, a bunch of us are wondering what's up with using terms like "old hag"?

Generally when you injure somebody, or destroy their art or property, it helps if you dehumanize them by writing them off as lesser beings by reason of race, gender, age, sexual orientation and what have you.

Was this your unconscious intent when using this term do you suppose? Or were you trying to be that vile on purpose?

 I too was very alarmed by

 I too was very alarmed by this writer's use of such misogynist and ageist terms, especially when s/he is professing to stand up against oppression and speak for our community. Plenty of seniors live in poverty in this community and they use the park too. Indeed, one might say that many of them are also quite marginalized.  Do older people just not fit into your bohemian fantasy of who this park is for? This park is for EVERYBODY and no group of people deserves to be spoken about that way in a discussion about its future based on their age or gender. Seriously, lose the bigotry and the rabid sense of entitlement while you're at it. 

This stunt was incredibly asshole-ish and the building looks like shit (love the nasty comments especially - more misogyny...awesome!). If you really cared about claiming public walls and expressing yourselves why did you not do it before - just for the sake of it? Your actions are just reactive and juvenile and if you think you have achieved something by vandalizing the unpaid work of dozens of people in our community you are delusional.

 

 

I think your blog lost some

I think your blog lost some of my comments, or hasn't published them.

I hope when you guys achieve your anarchist utopia you do a better job with running the water works and sewage treatment plants.

Comments are moderated...

...unless you create an account (take 1 min), you've gotta wait until a volunteer can look over them. Enjoy the free utilities.

You guys moderate comments

You guys moderate comments before they're posted? How do you reconcile that with your beliefs?

I can totally understand using re-captcha to sort out the humans from the bots, but I'd think you'd be into radical free speech. Ah well, just another confusing contradiction I guess.

So about those questions I've asked... anyone? Anyone?

Radical Free speech...

...is available to anyone who wants to spend 1 minute setting up an account. Otherwise, you have to wait as much as half a day to get your comment posted. But I said that already.

Not sure I understand the

Not sure I understand the difference. Seems like just a layer of bureaucracy to me, but hey, it's your site, so do as you please.

That said... still waiting for something in the way of a response from "neighbourhood artists". Anybody out there? Or do you prefer not to engage with the plebes? I know questions are inconvenient, but if you expect to win us over, you're going to have to actively engage with the public. That is unless this is all just a self indulgent wank, and you're not prepared to defend your position.

So I guess we don't get any

So I guess we don't get any answers? Just a shitty paintjob with some stupid graffiti about how "friends of grandview kill community"? That's some nice revolution you guys put on.

Can I make one request. The park reno is happening. There is nothing you can probably do to stop it, but you could easily slow it down, and radically increase its cost. Think about these things...

If you cause the project to take longer, costing this community a summer, then who are you hurting? Certainly not the fat cats in Washington. Not Gordon Campbell, but the people who use that park, namely those who's interests you claim to represent.

And if you increase the cost, you are taking money away from other worthwhile projects as well.

So please think about these things before you do anything crazy..

my bad, as an individual

It's true that I shouldn't use language like that.  I feel bad.  It's true that that was pretty weak.  I was in a state of reaction.  It was an exciting project to me. and we got stopped.  It was natural that this lady would feel that we did something against her, I guess.  Not sure if we actually did, until my language. 

I felt like the effort is justified, to make art.  I feel like the original mural was kinda plain and boring, and what we wanted to do was potentially cool and fancy.  But we got stopped in the process, by someone who was harsh, and possessive, and angry and called the cops on us.

It was me, who wrote the blog above, and used some fowl language, not the others.   Harsh words for an older woman.  I guess there's reactionaries everywhere.  I've seen it in myself before,reactionism, not misogyny.  I don't think that the woman in my life think of me as misogynist, but this is a fucked up sexist world and I'm not the special exception.  I hope to deal with that, reactionism and sexism.

I hope also though that we stop calling the cops over paint.  And I hope that she and the CPC aren't the only ones with the right to paint in the world.  But I guess there's some proper processes to ask for permission.  Would that be the good way?

  It's important to know, that this project was the work of a small group, not some larger group, resposnsible for all plans and projects towrds stopping the park redevelopment.. As I understand it, each of the efforts in the park recently, have been autonomous efforts by individuals and small groups.  Not an all encompassing we, or they. I guess when I write in the "we" it gets confusing. I encouraged others to take part, saying it was a community project, and a bunch of individuals were excited and took part.

It's good that you all criticize me.  That we criticize eachother.  That we learn.  That we have dialogue.  How else can "we" (I mean me and my community) have that dialogue with "you" (I mean a diverse bunch of communities, and the writers above, who live in a general area).

Again, after some reflection, it's not a big bad wrong that we did.  Whatever, we painted a building.  It was wrong for me to speak harshly.  I don't hate women.  I love women.  I've asked some folks around me, and came up with that it was harsh, not hateful.  But I understand that others will think different, and that was not so cool or intelligent of me. Reactionary, to be questioned, isms to be attacked.  I accept that I was wrong in the way I wrote.

Interesting how a choice and action like this has caused reactions and dialogue.  I'm learning in life, and prefer this to nothing, no change, no movement.  A brazen plan and a brazen explanation, and we get to hear from people in response.  Sorry to those offended.  Though gentrification is real, and happening and some of us won't be able to afford the new neighbourhood down the line.  That, is our (a small group of friends from the neighbourhood,) motivation for trying to be included in the dialogue.

Sorry to be late on the response.

I think it's really good that

I think it's really good that you stepped up to recognize this. I hope this is a step forward, and that the community can come through this and maybe do projects together. I think the important thing to remember is that we're all basically on the same team.

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