ID Numbers & City Emblem Protects Artists
Street art murals or historic graffiti pieces are being erased from city walls across the planet. An artist may go to great lengths to gain permission to paint a wall but that doesn’t guarantee the local council won’t come along one day and whitewash the artwork. In London artists cross their fingers and hope the mural will last a long time before the council erase it. Banksy pieces are afforded instant protection but what about the thousands of other artists painting in the global village.
In Chicago the cities cultural affairs department administrate the registry, which contains the full details of who, where or why.
‘The registry is expected to help the city raise its public art profile by providing a searchable database for tourists and locals as well as serve as a guide for city workers who sometimes are unable to differentiate between art and graffiti. Mark Kelly, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, said the city emblems should prevent artwork from being erased in the future. “If someone doesn’t want to register, that’s their choice, but registration ensures that this work is protected,” he said’
An upwards of 150 murals have already been registered and considered protected by the government. Official agencies won’t erase or paint over the murals without first contacting the official registrar.
‘According to application guidelines, submitted art must be in good condition, can’t serve as product placement, and can’t contain known gang signs or hostility. There is no cost to submit a piece of artwork to the registry. Once approved, each mural gets an ID number and a city emblem that can be placed on or near the artwork.’
“The majority of us who do this started out as graffiti artists. If this registry creates more walls (to paint on) for the common artist or the kid who wants to paint, then I’m down for it.” Flash ABC
The fact remains that council departments may well leave the murals alone, but that doesn’t protect the artwork from other artists. This is something no-one can control, once thrown up on a wall, it’s left to laws of the streets.