Graffiti vs Street Art

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Melbourne Street Art

mC:t          2014.10.12          #isCalgaryBeautiful

Art inspires and evokes emotions whether it’s displayed in a prestigious gallery or draped on the side of a building. As mentioned in the previous article titled “Graffiti art: do you mean graffiti removal?”, graffiti in Calgary is not well received. It holds negative connotations brought on by the fact that the act of graffiti is illegal. So what happens when this artistic form is legalized and renamed street art? Melbourne, Australia is a leading example of how to change these negative associations and use street art as a way to engage underused public spaces, making them into vibrant, unique areas.


The city of Melbourne implemented a Street art program that commissioned local artists to design installations throughout alleyways in the city. This art was so well received that building owners in Melbourne and surrounding areas have requested commissioned work for their sites as well. These pieces of artwork provide talented artists with the opportunity to showcase their art on one of the largest canvases available, while gaining more public exposure than would be possible in a gallery. Street art can be imaginative, provocative, fantasy or reality, each design being unique and compelling in a different way. Street art engages the public at a street level, encourages creative thought and provokes artistic discussion.


Melbourne’s vibrant street life has been renowned at a global scale for arts and culture. The city of Calgary has the potential to not only shift local perspective on graffiti, but engage the artistic community in a way that will revitalize the underused spaces in Calgary’s downtown core. Street art has the ability to begin to shape an identity and bring character to the streets of Calgary.




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  1. kt healey says:

    I am doing some research on the art’s in Calgary and came across your awesome website. I was wondering if someone there could help steer me in the right direction. I am looking for the names few local (street) artists that are known for murals and other large pieces. Preferable medium is paint or vinyl but all and all, anything goes, even sculpture or landscape art. I would eventually like to interview a few of them in order to better understand the public art culture in Calgary. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

    Thank you so much,

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