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Street Art / Graffiti Art and Neighborhood Identity

, Street Art / Graffiti Art and Neighborhood Identity

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

Street Art / Graffiti Art and Neighborhood Identity

 

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

 

 

Historically, street art has a more unsavory reputation, once simply labeled as graffiti and considered something to be removed. This was especially true during the steep rise in US drug-related gang activity in the 1980s, but in recent years street art has shifted into the realm of permanent art, with many young artists choosing to use their talents to enrich large swaths of public property which would otherwise be vacant and / or poorly maintained. The street art / graffiti art revival has been at the forefront of many urban revivals across the country, including substantial burgeoning local art scenes in Detroit, Michigan and Cleveland, Ohio, largely located in areas that had formerly lost their local economy due to factory closures and subsequent mass unemployment. Rather than pay for the controlled demolition and cleanup of these defunct facilities, the companies that owned them simply abandoned them and relocated out of the area, or closed down their business entirely. Such departures not only drastically decrease local job opportunities, but also leave residents with large, stripped-down buildings that in many cases are not fit to be used as housing and cannot be safely demolished by residents because they are too large and / or contain hazardous materials.

 

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

 

 

Fortunately, the street art / graffiti art revival in places like Detroit and Cleveland is going a long way toward drawing communities (and businesses) back to the local area. Large, beautiful murals, mosaics, and even semi-permanent art on roads themselves help restore pride in the local scenery. New landmarks develop out of what were once condemned or derelict structures. In many cases, a new neighborhood identity begins to form around the art movement as residents attempt to draw other artists to the community by recording each new art piece and uploading it to the Internet. Often, the street art acts as a backdrop for new local festivals, markets, and musical performances. As the quality of recording equipment rises and costs continue to drop (particularly in the competitive smartphone market), local residents continue to have better and better options for recording their local art and helping residents outside the city see for themselves how the reputation of some of these municipalities is actively changing. This, in turn, helps draw more potential residents and businesses to the area.

 

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

 

As the new neighborhood identity evolves, young artists continue to share and connect, eventually helping to create a basis for a local, stable economy to re-evolve. Street art / graffiti art revivals can thus serve multiple ends: producing a new, local art movement, as well as actively drawing new residents (with new skills) who had no previous connection to the area. This is one current, productive way by which a community can evolve from a centralized (but defunct) economy supplied by a few large corporations to a decentralized local economy supported by many small businesses maintained mostly by local residents.

 

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

 

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

 

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

 

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

 

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

 

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art

 

 

Keywords: street art, neighborhood identity, young artists, art movement, graffiti, graffiti art