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  • Writer's pictureLisa Havniear

Graffiti - art or a nuisance?

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

How many times have you sat at a railroad crossing patiently waiting on the train to pass and really noticed the “tagged” art on the passing rail cars? Were you impressed with the skill and creativity or annoyed that the rail cars were defaced?

When does graffiti become art or art become graffiti? Or are they one and the same? Do you think art or graffiti can coexist in the same environment?

I, personally, am quite impressed and intrigued with the talent of the graffiti art on the rail cars and abandon buildings but at the same time sadden that the talent is being wasted and not shown in areas where it could really be appreciated. Now, I’m not condoning or even encouraging “tagging” someone’s personal property without their expressed permission. But wouldn’t it be cool if the cities or communities commissioned these artists to create unique murals that told a story about that particular area? Or even something as unique as the above image?

This particular image stopped me in my “scrolling” tracks through Pinterest. It took me a minute to process what I was actually seeing. The image was titled “21 Pieces of Cool Graffiti” that Reinvented Urban Environments”. And yet, to me, it was so much more than graffiti. It’s more than a random image painted on the side of building but a genius and creative approach to pair art with the environment. This artist was able to create a clever but whimsical message that caught my attention!

So is this considered graffiti, a mural or art?

My curiosity took me on a search and I discovered that a great number of Arkansas’ communities actually have many beautifully, detailed, painted murals. Some tell the history of the community, some are classic, some reveal the artist’s social interests, some are magical, some are fun, some represent what can be found in the community and some are just creative expressions of art.

If you are intrigued with the art that is incorporated into our environment, take a tour in person or check out the links below of a few of the local communities that reflect this type of art. I think you will find this as much fun as I do. Live in color, love in color and explore color!!!

Links to public art:

Create your own art,


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