Street art and graffiti: the legality of it all

You’ll find street art and graffiti nearly everywhere: the walls of your school, the alleys of the city, under bridges, on mailboxes, and more. From Berlin to Toronto, artists are painting up the streets with what are often beautiful pieces of work. Banksy, a world-renowned graffiti artist, creates street art that sells for millions of dollars. So why then, is graffiti still illegal? Why control graffiti art? According to the City of Ottawa website, graffiti is known to increase crime rates and can reduce business revenue, property value, and affect the aesthetic appeal of its surrounding areas. Graffiti can also affect the sense of safety and security for residents and visitors. Hate graffiti is also a pressing issue for the […]

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Artist paints over her ex-partner’s canvases

After she broke up with her partner of 12 years, Natalie Bruvels took a paintbrush to his paintings and covered his work with her own—without asking his permission. “There was no agreement,” she said. “They were in my studio one day and . . . something just said ‘this is happening.’” The vernissage for Bruvels’ show, Goodbye Lover at La Petit Mort Gallery Sept. 12 featured the results of this artistic vandalism. “I guess I’m a graffiti artist now,” Bruvels laughed. The paintings are engagingly bright and complex, abstract but with faces and parts of the human form still distinguishable. She said having her paintings on top of his paintings turns the viewing experience into a sort of scavenger hunt. […]

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Swastika found in UBC residence

The RCMP is investigating after a swastika with the caption “Heil Hitler” was found in a University of British Columbia (UBC) residence March 16. The graffiti was found on a chalkboard of a student lounge  at Nootka House in Totem Park. Janice Robinson, director of residence life and administration at UBC, said the school is also investigating the incident. She said a student leader found the swastika drawing in the residence and promptly removed it. “Of course, this type of graffiti is not in keeping with residence standards. We strive to foster an inclusive and comfortable place to live that residents can be glad to call home,” Robinson said. “I’m glad that this is not a frequent occurrence in residence, […]

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RRRA elections targeted by racist and homophobic attacks

University safety has identified a student in connection to a series of complaints around hateful vandalism that occurred during the Rideau River Residence Association (RRRA) elections. All three slates in the election filed a report Feb. 19 detailing times and locations of several instances of campaign material destruction and racist and homophobic graffiti on posters around campus. In conclusion to an investigation that involved Equity Services, Student Affairs, and the department of university safety, a male student was identified through surveillance tapes and, after questioning, was found responsible for some of the vandalism, according to university safety community liaison Mark Hargreaves. While no criminal charges have been laid, Student Affairs director Ryan Flannagan, with a role in disciplining actions that […]

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Graffiti exhibition unmasks underground art

Amidst an electronic soundscape and graffiti covered walls, the centrepiece of Wall Space Gallery’s Friday night exhibit shone through as something truly unique. Ottawa-based artist Stefan Thompson sat with his tablet while his Photoshop time-lapse piece was projected on one of the gallery’s walls. The audience watched as the digital image was transformed into a variety of intertwined mythical animals, one shifting into another. “We want people to be excited about art and excited about new media art. [The exhibit] is a bombardment of all your senses. From the visuals to the music, it’s just a good time,” said Cynthia Mykytyshyn, the curator of Night Light Masquerade. Co-sponsor of the event, 100 Watt Productions, had recently hosted a masquerade themed […]

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