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Street Art and Graffiti Roundtable - October 14, 2010 in NYC

If you are in NYC on October 14, 2010 from 6-8p, please join us for a roundtable discussion on street art and graffiti at Jodi Arnold, 56 University Place (near 10th Street) in NYC from 6-8p. This event is free and will be a lively discussion on graffiti from experts involved in all aspects of NYC life. Here are the details:

Lost Narratives Roundtable

Street Art: Is It Art Or Is It Blight?

When: Thurs., Oct. 14, 2010, 6-8pm

Where: Jodi Arnold boutique, 56 University Place, at W. 10th St.

Participants: Street art photographer Charlene Weisler (whose work is currently on exhibit in our store), art dealer and author Jeanne Frank, art educator and screen writer Michael Stoltz, Brooklyn Museum student curator Megan Innes as well as prominent urban planners, art critics, architects, academics and local politicians


Charlene Weisler has been photographing street art for the better part of a decade. She still recalls a day in the early 1980s when she was waiting on the platform of the F train and encountered Keith Haring making chalk drawings. That day revived Weisler’s existing interest in street art.

Through her work, Weisler highlights elements of public art pieces that make the viewer discover something new and self-contained. She attempts to capture what is transient and impermanent; something that could be gone the next day. New York was teeming with graffiti artists in the 1980s – spray-painting the subways, public yards, and the streets: They were arrested in droves. What have we learned since then?


What does public art mean to our community and society? With cities cutting funding for public art nationwide (most recently, San Diego), how should we, architects, urban planners, and politicians in New York City – a hotbed of graffiti and street art from the Bronx to Soho – react to it, discuss it, and encourage positive programs involving street artists.

The difference between graffiti and “legitimate” street art is permission: Graffiti is illegal. But is the solution to sanction street art, providing a legal space for the spray-painters and stencilers to create? That could defeat the very purpose of street art itself as being an outlet for social and political commentary that shouldn’t be constrained within a gallery space. Can you take art into one system and place it into another without it losing its essence? Because if the art is city-sanctioned or in a gallery, there is an implicit i financial value – which could well impede free creation.

Another issue is that street art carries with it issues of ownership: emotional, social, and societal. How can street art be supported but not appropriated by our communities?

Throughout the discussion, we will attempt to come to a conclusion regarding what citizens can do to participate and foster discussion around our public art pieces.


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Sounds like a great discussion, is there a transcript or video anywhere?

Charlene Weisler

Hi Eli,
Thank you!
Yes we have a 35 minute video of the 60 minute roundtable but it needs lots of editing. I hope to post it within the week.

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