(January 13, 2003) -- A LB Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Marine sponsored event -- described in a press release as a "mural collaboration and exhibit" featuring "the top 14 women graffiti artists of Southern California" presenting "the art of a new generation" -- has generated further controversy as the President/Exec. Dir. of a national anti-graffiti group blasted the City of LB's actions in a mass email to his readers.
Responding to the story first reported on LBReport.com, Randy Campbell, President and Executive Director of NoGraf Network, Inc. (a 501(c)(3) non profit group), said the City of LB "is helping promote graffiti by showcasing it at the same time as the city pays for [its] clean up" and vowed no longer to promote the city of LB and its past work.
Noting that he had "preached for years about a wonderful anti-graffiti program run by the city of Long Beach, California" and promoted LB's anti-graffiti program in interviews, Mr. Campbell said in a mass emailing to readers of the group's web site:
"Never again will I promote this city and all they have done in the past. They join the ranks of the lost souls behind them that tried and failed in their ability to be responsible adults. All that money spent on an annual basis to clean graffiti, is now just thrown away and wasted."
The NoGraf Network web site (www.nograffiti.com), which describes anti-graffiti efforts worldwide, says it considers graffiti exhibits sponsored by art museums and municipalities "to be both irrational and irresponsible." It also contends such exhibits have acted as accelerants, resulting in increased vandalism.