GUELPH POLITICAST #138 – Arthur Kerrey, Professional Graffiti Artist

Is graffiti an art form in its own right, or is it a nuisance, a sign of urban decay and increased crime? Depends on who you ask. For some people graffiti is gang-related, or done by hooligans that deface public property because they can. To others though it’s about frustrated artists looking for a canvas, and then they grow up to become successful artists.

The latter described, Arthur Kerrey, a born Australian that has settled in Guelph, and is now sharing the secrets of creating art out of graffiti (responsibly, of course). Kerrey has been making a name for himself in town showing that graffiti can beautify as opposed to being another eyesore. Lately though, he’s been showing off his favourite bits of Guelph street art.

Kerrey led his first Street Art Walk through Downtown Guelph back on Jazz Festival weekend, and he’s leading his second during Culture Days this coming weekend. It’s part of his effort to get people to appreciate the artistry of graffiti and street art, like he did earlier this year at a Wyndham Arts Summer Camp. The goal is to educate and explain the rise of graffiti culture, and why it should be embraced as more than just a societal drain on property value.

So this week on the podcast, Kerrey talks about his own background in graffiti, how he parlayed that into a career as a successful artist, and what he hopes to give back to the people that attend his walk. Kerrey also talks about the genuine talent that’s involved in creating graffiti, and how maybe that can be directed into something more law abiding. Finally, he talks about appreciation for street art, and what makes Guelph an interesting place to practice the craft.

This Politicast was taped in two parts: the first part was record in the Commons Cafe, so it’s a little noisy, and the second part was while Kerrey was setting up for his first walk in Market Square.

So get out your spray cans, it’s time for this week’s Guelph Politicast!

The next Street Art Walk takes place this Saturday as part of Culture Days, and although it’s already sold out, there’s a chance that a few vacancies might open up. Keep an eye on the event’s Facebook page just in case. To learn where and when you can attend the whole assortment of Culture Day activities this weekend, visit the City of Guelph page here.

The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.

Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday’s episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.

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