Friday, December 12, 2008

Pondering an Assignment in a High School Government Class

My nephew's Government class at San Pedro High School was given an assignment to write about issues important to students. The letters were to be sent out to different branches and members of many government entities and also included letters to the editors of various newspapers.

To my sister's shock and surprise, her son's letter to the editor of The Daily Breeze was published in today's paper.

Here is that letter to the editor:

Give graffiti artists venue

There is a negative attitude against teens and young adults who use spray paint as their means of creative expression. Unfortunately, these artists tend to find illegal ways to express themselves by spraying where they're not supposed to, such as on other people's property. Buildings, walls and fences provide a blank canvas for the aerosol artist.

The community of Venice actually provides several walls for the exclusive use of spray-paint artists. Although their work is soon covered up by the next group of artists, the walls offer the painters a legitimate outlet for their craft. Paint sprayed on the Venice walls is paint that won't end up on someone else's property.

The Harbor Area should follow Venice's lead and consider providing a similar area for local artists. I would hope that some of the illegal graffiti would disappear if artists were given a place to pursue their art without the "vandal" label.

San Pedro

Most use of spray paint by younger members of the community is destructive to private and public properties. This is bad and we should find ways to do away with that particular method of expression.

However, there are new art forms that develop over the years and some very fine art comes out of spray paint cans that the artists who express themselves with that form of art.

Andrew has created art in different forms since he was a very young boy.

Andrew designed and built a customized bicycle for his own nephew, Adam when Adam was just four years old.

Andrew has been drawing things since he was about eight years old and he uses computers to create forms of art on that medium, too.

It might be a good idea that if and when a new skate park is provided in San Pedro, a wall might be constructed that would allow local artists who use spray paints, a space they can display their art.

As we respect those who use paint on canvas, sculpture, pottery forms of art, and many other methods of expression, we should begin to respect more artists who have chosen to use spray paint, non-destructively, as a means to express art using that form.

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