Here in the well-adorned offices of the Curmudgeon, I would let a staff member paint a mural on the wall, but I hardly think I’d just give everyone some cans of spray paint and graffiti lessons. Yet, that is just what the town of Crawley England is doing. They’ve announced a class for children aged 8 and up to improve their graffiti skills, and all this in a town that spends $66,700 every year to clean up the graffiti.
The course wont only teach the little Picasso’s how to express themselves with graffiti, but in theory at least, will also teach them about the responsible uses of paint. As reported by UPI, the kids will practice on canvas, and Liz Hart – the organizer of the class – tells the worried town that “Those who take part would not consider going out to tag a bus stop, wall or whatever.” But isn’t that what you’re teaching them to do? Graffiti? And isn’t graffiti normally spray painted on walls, bridges, and trains?
The townsfolk have noticed this discrepancy as well, to which Hart says, “I can understand some residents may be worried. But I can assure them the young people will be told the difference between vandalism and graffiti as an art form,” Hey, I have to admit that I’ve seen some graffiti that would knock the paintbrush out of your hand, but most of it is crap. Who’s going to decide which kids produce art and others produce glop. I guarantee that a good number of those kids are going to be producing the aforementioned glop, but will think they’re Jackson Pollack (who, come to think of it, did produce glop.)
The town of Crawley has been the victim of random outbreaks of racist graffiti, which is hardly desirable, art or no.. Who can blame them for being skeptical?
“Once armed with a spray can and the tricks of the trade, these kids won’t just do it in the classroom. They will want to do it everywhere to get their tag known,” said one resident who asked not to be named. “What next? How to break into cars?”