The City of Toronto embraces street art
Over two years ago, the City of Toronto put together a new plan to tackle graffiti in the wake of a widespread crackdown led by Mayor Rob Ford. Among the highlights of that plan was a promise to put together a database of Toronto street artists to help shop owners and BIAs commission legal murals. A testament to the snail's pace at which things move when mired in bureaucracy, this list of City-approved artists has finally come together. Better late than never, seems an appropriate cliche to ring off right about now.
Ignoring the time it took to put together, the database is likely a positive step when it comes to graffiti management in this city. While some enthusiasts will defend tags and throw-ups, I suspect that the only graffiti with mass appeal is the mural. When people think of "good" graffiti, this is surely what comes to mind. And while many of these artists are more than capable of putting larger works together in the absence of a commission or even permission, the possibility of remuneration can't be a bad thing.
The database contains over 30 artists, some of whom are quite well established in Toronto's street art scene, like Sean Martindale, EGR, Mediah, and Jose-Gabriel (to name a few). Each profile provides contact info, areas of specialty and examples of the artist's work. In other words, if you were in the market for a mural, the database would be useful place to shop. As to whether its existence diminishes shitty graffiti like tags, etc. is difficult to predict, but it surely can't hurt.
What do you think? Is this a step in the right direction?