Sunday, March 16, 2008

Report back on Graffiti Art Festival in Kings Heath Park

The graffiti art festival in kings Heath took place this weekend and went very smoothly – no problems nor trouble. We had one teenager tag the gents toilets in the park and we’ve already had a word with him.

I’ll do a drive round tomorrow to see if any new tags have appeared locally over the weekend.
The weather was awful on Saturday, but it was still well attended. Sunday was alot kinder weather wise.

It was fascinating watching groups of teenagers stand for ages watching professional artists paint. There were some with autograph books getting the professional artists to sign for them.

We had some previously prolific taggers there watching the artists and it was a good opportunity for both local police community support offices and myself to chat to them.

We also had a specially built skateboard ramp available – this was built to the designs of a teenage skateboarding group who have been formed specially for this event. It was fascinating talking to these teenagers about the kind of skateboarding facilites they would like to see. It’s not large ramps they want, but low level urban street furniture – apparently ramps are for beginners. They showed me photos from Europe and the USA of specially designed street furniture for skateboarders. The designs are very simple and could easily be incorporated into the designs of new public open space – I’m of the opinion that the presence of skateboarders in public spaces helps make the area feel safe.

We are presently looking for a location to store the mobile skateboard ramp.

I’m keen to get more of these events for the summer. In A City Arts have suggested getting some ‘art-footballers’ over from Holland – these are footballers who can do tricks with footballs in a single location.

I would like to thank Bishop Challenor School and the artists from In A City Arts who did an excellent job creating this festival.


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