"Do you call art ‘art’ just because you hang it on a wall?"

Editors, the Gauntlet,

Quite soon after my arrival at the university, I noticed something that pleased me. When you drive down University Drive you may have noticed a large concrete octagon, just before the exit for 16 Ave. West. At first I thought nothing of it, and was not sure exactly what it was, but what pleased me was the amazing art that the walls of this octagon contained. Those cold concrete walls were graced with beautiful pieces of graffiti. At first, I thought that these might be “legal” walls, but I was sadly mistaken. I was informed these octagons were for holding sand and gravel for when the roads get icy. I was still not upset because I couldn’t really see anyone caring about graffiti in a gravel pit.

This is not vandalism, it’s not like someone is writing “I love Chris” or “Fuck you” on the wall in paint–this is art. I don’t believe that graffiti should be taught in art class or hung in art galleries, it’s not the kind of art. It’s an underground medium, which shouldn’t be taught in school or anywhere else. It’s a form of expression that belongs on the walls of the city, but the city doesn’t like that–okay, but let’s compromise.

There should be legal places where graffiti artists are allowed to paint without fear of being fined. Seriously people, what do you care if they’re painting in the dirty back alley of your store, or if they’re painting on the ugly dumpster in your parking lot, or if they’re painting on the plywood that covers a construction site in the middle of the city, or if they’re doing you a favour by gracing the walls of your ugly-ass gravel pit with beautiful works of art. I’m just asking for people to be a little more open minded. The next time you see some graffiti remember this letter and stop to check it out. Or if you’d really like, go down to the octagon and appreciate the works of art in the “gravel pit gallery.”