A lot of time and money has been spent by train yards over the years to keep graffiti artists out.
On the flipside, artists over the years have spent a lot of time, money and skill hopping fences and dodging security to get in. So when Mission Terminals Inc called up Definitely Superior Art Gallery’s DieActive Youth Art Collective to see if the group wanted to paint the terminal’s brand new engine, they were surprised.
“This is a really rare and special opportunity,” DefSup’s Lora Northway said Saturday afternoon.
It’s so rare in fact, Northway thinks this might be one of the first times ever that artists have had safe and legal access to the sought-after mobile canvass of a train. When she told graffiti artists in other cities what the collective was doing, they couldn’t believe it.
“This blew their minds. This isn’t something that any train writer has gotten to do as far as we know,” she said.
The collective has spent the last four years painting on businesses across the city in an effort to raise awareness about the cultural significance of art and show that things like graffiti can be done responsibly. The group most recently finished a crime prevention mural on the Mac’s store on May Street and Dease Street. This new initiative is proving that artists and businesses, even one that are usually as far apart as train yards and taggers, can work together.
“It’s an awesome way for (young artists) to experience train painting without going illegal and without having to worry about being hurt. It’s all very safe,” Northway said. ““This is what creates culture. This is how we make artistic culture important and make youth important.”
Around 18 artists have been working on the train since Tuesday. They expect to be complete by Saturday afternoon.
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