The Importance of Street Art

Sonya Curiel, Staff Writer

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Venice is a community filled with wondrous artworks made by the different minds of many artists. From murals to sculptures and graffiti art, Venice has been a popular tourist spot for aspiring artists from around the world.

Venice wasn’t always filled with such aesthetically pleasing art projects. In the 1960s, Venice was known for being ‘ghetto’ and was filled with gang related graffiti on its walls.

“I’ve seen a lot of graffiti art at the skatepark in the Venice boardwalk,” said senior Darling Victoriano. “I always wonder how long they’ve been around and the meaning behind each one.”

This changed around the 1970s when the Chicano movement was rising. Many cities that were filled with people of Latino and Hispanic heritage rose together and created their own murals to tell their own stories and challenge society’s racist views.

These murals were a form of community activism, a way for people to express themselves visually and tell their stories. They were created on the streets so their message of Chicano rights could be accessible to everyone.

Julissa Ventureno

These murals were created for the community and by the community of Venice. But as times change, so have communities and art projects shown on the streets. Gentrification soon began taking place in the city of Venice.

If you walk down the streets of Abbot Kinney you would see how gentrification made a difference in those murals. Most of the murals on Abbot Kinney were created for the environment to look appealing rather than having a deeper meaning like other murals have.

It does help the street look visually appealing, but it is a problem when a group tries to cover over someone else’s art.  Street art is a part of cultural heritage. It could either show complex narratives or help the community look aesthetically appealing. It is a form of art that is accessible to anyone and could be created by any artist. It could be used as a powerful tool against any social tension from protests to racism.  

Not only that but the more street art showcased in the community, the more opportunities that art programs would be open to aspiring artists. It could also bring more government funding to protect the art that is showcased on the street from getting destroyed.

“For future street artists, use the resources that you have access to,” said Venice High art teacher Tyler Fister. “Whether it be the art classrooms or the community centers that have some money to give you or even talking to individual business owners… there are a lot of people who support it.”