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Keep NZ Beautiful begins great graffiti cover up

2 November 2007

Keep New Zealand Beautiful begins the great graffiti cover up

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The first paint’s been applied to urban eyesores by Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s graffiti challenge.

KNZB has begun the huge task of painting eye-catching art over the buildings that have fallen victim to spray can vandals. On the outskirts of Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast, an OnTrack gear shed has been transformed from a paint-splattered eyesore into a work of art.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful’s Barry Lucinsky says with the help of sponsors, OnTrack and Resene paints, the work was completed in a couple of days.

“There’s a lot more eyesores to go and a lot of time needed but we will get them one by one, wall by wall,” he says.

Keep New Zealand Beautiful has challenged graffitists to step up if they think they have the talent to paint a work that people will admire instead of recoil at, as they do with the vandalized walls and buildings that are a part of the New Zealand urban scene at present.

For the first mural artist, Keep New Zealand Beautiful chose Marc Spijkerbosch. Marc is a far cry from being a mindless spray can jockey, having painted murals full time for almost 15 years. And it’s not the first time he and Keep New Zealand Beautiful have been face-to-face.

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In 1995, Marc approached Keep New Zealand Beautiful in Rotorua with an offer to cover graffiti with murals. KNZB gave Mark a Keep Rotorua Beautiful award the next year and many of the murals are still visible, untouched by graffiti for all these years.

“If something worth looking at goes up on a wall,” says Barry Lucinsky, “even vandals tend to respect the talent involved. And we reckon a lot of these spray artists do have a real talent. We want it up on display, wall by wall.”

KNZB will accept requests from building owners who want to be rid of graffiti to be included in the scheme. Sponsors Resene provide the paint, KZNB will recruit the artist and OnTrack backs the project and helps with logistics.


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