PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Local 'taggers' are trying to take the 'vandalism' out of their art while uncovering new 'canvas' for graffiti.
They didn't always try to spray their creations on legal walls.
"They caught up with me," an artist who goes by the name of Wiz Art Spoke said . "Went to jail and spent a lot of money and I just changed my ways."
The goal of The Avenue Concept is to bring taggers out of the shadows to aim their talent where it's wanted instead of on highway concrete and abandoned buildings.
Organizer Yarrow Thorne hopes the concept will blossom. The recent RISD graduate envisions property owners scattered throughout the area, stepping forward to allow colorful, high quality graffiti on their structures. Thorne believes it could have a strong impact on illegal tagging, by separating the artists from the vandals.
"How many walls are being rolled grey by some union guy getting $40 an hour," Thorne said. "Give an artist $20 an hour to do something everyone would love."
As Wiz Art Spoke worked on a legal wall, he said The Avenue Concept would also offer artistic guidance to taggers, he calls 'scribblers'.
"That's all some of it is. Just scribbling with paint on walls," he said. "Those taggers could learn a few things from the rest of us."
Supporters say true artists would chose legal walls over the current adrenaline pumping option of painting an overpass in the dark with vehicles whizzing by underneath.
"More exciting no," artist Jus One said. "But definitely more positive. It just shows people that it's not all vandalism. It is an art form."
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