Tech gets tagged

June 24, 2011

Everett Street bridge, a popular tagging spot in Ruston, sports an array of lines and colors

by Mary Timmons, Associate Editor

Downtown Ruston, between closed buildings and dark alleyways, remnants of broken glass cover the ground while the work of an unknown artist from an unknown time covers the walls.

While some markings are faded and discolored, others have been covered and new ones have emerged.

This form of art otherwise known as graffiti can be found on walls of abandoned buildings, hiding under bridges, on the sides of passing trains and even in our very own Hide-A-Way Park.

Erin Hollis, a junior studio art major, said she still considers graffiti to be a form of art.

“With the definition of art, I guess graffiti would have to be art,” Hollis said. “I don’t want to see curse words all over everything or someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend’s name; other than that I’m cool with it.”

For years it has been described as vandalism, a malicious act that is the intentional defacement of public property.

Though she looks at it as an art form, Hollis said she doesn’t look at graffiti as a fine art.

“Just look at all the different forms of art,” Hollis said. “There are many ways that people express emotion.”

Matthew Hennington, a senior geographic and informations major, said that he considers graffiti to be an art form.

“It’s an outlet for most artists to publicly display art in a setting that is not normally set for art,” Hennington said. “Graffiti seems to be more abstract and creates an identity for an unknown artist.”

Though some do not always understand this work, others still acknowledge and appreciate the work.

Artists, like Hollis, find artwork like graffiti to be one of many different types.

“Art is everywhere,” Hollis said. “In food, architecture, music, literature, clothing, everything. Someone somewhere is always making something.”

While it can be found in many places this act of art must be done in solitude, so society remains unaware of who created it.

“There is mystery along with excitement when it comes to graffiti art,” Hennington said. “There is an attraction with the colors and wild styles. It is starting to seep into modern art.”

He said a great deal of thought isn’t necessary when creating a graffiti piece; rather it is the expression of raw emotion.

“Spray paint made it easy for an artist to create a masterpiece in 30 minutes. It’s not like a mural,” Hennington said. “Murals are planned out, whereas graffiti just happens and that is the beauty of it. Graffiti is a true expression of an artist in a public domain.”

A three-year-old can glue macaroni on construction paper and parents could proudly post it on their refrigerator or artists who splashes paint on a canvas may sell their work for hundred of dollars yet graffiti stays hidden within shadows, but if one were to walk within the alleys or follow the train tracks far enough one would stumble across the work of past and present artists who have left their mark on this town.

E-mail comments to mnt005@latech.edu.