Letters to the Editor

Artful graffiti

February 19, 2010


To the editor:

Apparently I’m not the only one disgruntled by the hulking presence of The Oread hotel. As I’m sure many of my fellow students noticed Monday and Tuesday, the hotel was boldly endowed with (that is, generously endowed by) a brand-new paint job, courtesy of some unknown and obviously well-meaning graffiti artist.

To anyone with an eye for aesthetic, the painting was beautiful, before its untimely demise at the hands of the hotel. During its brief existence, it implored any who looked upon it to “SHOUT PEACE” in brave, white, simple characters against a backdrop of subtle blue. Its composition both fit solidly into the building’s broad, square architecture, and, more impressively, gracefully mimicked the Kansan sky beyond.

The hotel owners, within days, unceremoniously destroyed it. Why? In Tuesday’s Lawrence Journal-World, Oread general manager Nancy Longhurst claimed, on behalf of the hotel, to be “saddened by this kind of vandalism.” Which kind? The kind that inspires peace? The kind with constructive ideals? The kind carefully integrated into the space it occupies?

I must concede that “vandalism” is inextricable from all its intrinsic negative stigma surrounding, and that this case, by law, is no exception. However, this case was neither directly destructive (it did not involve, say, broken windows), nor was it negative, antagonizing, violent or insulting in any way. The painting, instead, encouraged self-expression, with a purpose of unity between people, a lesson the hotel higher-ups, judging by their abrupt destruction of such a beneficial artwork, clearly ought to consider.


Brent Garner 8 years, 1 month ago

So pacifistic, left wing "graffiti" is not vandalism but is a public "art" display that should be respected? I suppose that if the vandal had spary painted "Impeach Obama" the LTE writer might have had a different view. More of the old "if the left does it, its ok, but if the right does it, its wrong" mentality at work.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 1 month ago

Indeed. Perhaps someone ought to look up the writer's address and redecorate his car with bold, artful painting.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 1 month ago

art stops being art when it costs hundreds of dollars to remove. just because you don't like the look of the building, gives you ZERO right to deface it. as a student, I'll assume that you're under the age of 25. while you should know better than to vandalize another persons property, I don't think you are old enough to have all your common sense yet. Lets hope that none of us figures out what car or house is yours. or maybe it doesn't matter to you if someone vandalizes your stuff. but I'll be it does.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

Please post your address so we can come make political statements on your dwelling some evening.

KSManimal 8 years, 1 month ago

bkgarner (Brent Garner) says... "So pacifistic, left wing "graffiti" is not vandalism but is a public "art" display that should be respected? I suppose that if the vandal had spary painted "Impeach Obama" the LTE writer might have had a different view. More of the old "if the left does it, its ok, but if the right does it, its wrong" mentality at work."

Stop the presses and buy Satan a parka! I agree with Brent.

Kontum1972 8 years, 1 month ago

well.... look at the bright side....he didnt did not fly a plane into IT...because he was mad.

the guy needs to get a job....to take up his spare time!

Mel Wedermyer 8 years, 1 month ago

What a bunch of Bull... lets see how he feels when someone does this to something he owns. When they find the vandals lets hope they do jail time.

Dan Edwards 8 years, 1 month ago

Glad to see a bipartisan effort to rip this guy a new one. There is NO EXCUSE for defacement of private property. Period.

classclown 8 years, 1 month ago

One does have to wonder if this is Sam's way of gloating and looking for people to give him kudos for what he did. If he is the perp that is.

Maybe we should blog on that.

puddleglum 8 years, 1 month ago

c'mon y'all...you need to be able to spot trolls a little better.

nice tongue-in-cheek piece, or should I say-er shout peace, sam

beatrice 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm absolutely in agreement with the conservatives on this one, even Liberty One. Stupid argument to justify destruction of property. Did the hotel have to paint over the graffiti in order to "remove" it? If so, then they permanently ruined the natural stone surface. I'm not buying this garbage that it was destructive.

Plus, the message is moronic. Just shouting "Peace!" doesn't work! If you don't follow through with legal action, voting, etc., then talk is just talk, whether you shout it or not.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 1 month ago

Bkgarner wrote: "I suppose that if the vandal had spary painted "Impeach Obama" the LTE writer might have had a different view."

I agree with this statement in theory. However, the example you give of "Impeach Obama" is not appropriate. A more apt statement for comparison might be "Scream War".

Had the graffiti said "Prosecute Bush", you might be more on target.

Clearly this is an unlawful act. If the defacer is caught, she should be prosecuted.

However, get used to running a business in lawrence, especially involving a building that dominates the cityscape and view. It is a good advertisement for your business, but will also be a target of such acts.

alm77 8 years, 1 month ago

Puddleglum, glad I'm not the only one that noticed the dripping sarcasm.

Ryan Wood 8 years, 1 month ago

Smart people can see the tongue-in-cheek tone. As for the rest of you....

puddleglum 8 years, 1 month ago

somebody had to do it.... as far as smart people goes...vote for puddleglum for govenor. 1st agenda? pass mandatory sterilization for anyone with an IQ under 110. that should solve the abortion issue.

NewFashionedHippie 8 years, 1 month ago

Not trying to condone defacement of property and what not but I would say the free advertising more than pays for the clean up bill. As a new establishment I would see the growth of awareness of existence as a cool vital thing and people asking around a campus if you saw the Oriad's Graffiti and asking what and where it is being a huge plus first you learn of a hotel then if you go see it you are like oo pizza Nom, Nom. Then peaking about you notice a swanky bar with dance room and hmm maybe should grab some drinks there some time next week. Plus the message was apolitical Peace shouldn't be a party thing it should be a universal vision. I feel it is art, urban art and just like the development of Urban areas it doesn't strictly follow the intent of what lay there before it. I found it strange the focus on private property being defaced. Its shunned no mater, had it been university property people would have whined or city or state federal let face it no matter who claims it unless its you people will whine and even if you own it there is a good chance some neighborhood organization will dislike it because it depreciates there value. Lets face it Graffiti is as old as the critics themselves long before Kilroy was here the tradition was.

classclown 8 years, 1 month ago

I like how some of the posters speak out against vandalism yet have taken an active role on vandalizing this site.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 1 month ago

You want to paint a picture? Buy a piece of canvas. You want to paint a really big picture? Rent a billboard.

weeslicket 8 years, 1 month ago

really stupid letter. definitely in contention for dumbest letter of 2010.

svenway_park 8 years, 1 month ago

Anyone want to help me do some "Art" on an older Volvo?

svenway_park 8 years, 1 month ago

I'm thinking powder blue would be a good color.

svenway_park 8 years, 1 month ago

It will look very Cool when we get done.

classclown 8 years ago

No different than the graffiti placed on this site by the resident vandals. A lot of pots in here.

NewFashionedHippie 8 years ago

Snap pop, I know its not what you were meaning but i think it would be really cool if we had some buildings who rented there walls to artists to do like rotating murals and permitted a legal means of an artist displaying what they do on a large scale and maybe keep a stack of business cards or something to say who and how to contact the artist(s). It is easy to dismiss things as destructive instead of being constructive about the problem. And the format for selection could be comparable to getting ones works on display at a coffee shop or gallery you show what you can do agree to certain guidelines and length showing a month or season most typically.

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