By Justus Duntsch
Positive feedback from the community is golden when producing public art, especially when it looks anything like graffiti. “I’m not sure about it,” said the first passing neighbour when I asked her what she thought. Caught off guard by her enthusiasm, I handed her an outline for the project while making an attempt at explaining the merits of the “beautification” projects that have been popping up in urban pockets around Niagara. I was surprised that a younger member of the community would be so unreceptive to organized (legal!) aerosol art on her block.
Luckily, not long after, a member of the Niagara Falls Heritage committee passed by and shared a tonne of praise. He made it known that there are plenty of properties in the area that could use some colour. The next day, the unsure lady returned with a smile on her face and a much more encouraging statement about how the house is really coming together. Over the next few weeks of painting in ice, wind, and snow, we got nothing but good words from passers by.
The project in question was the colouring-in of a decrepit house scheduled for demolition by the end of 2016. Owned by the Niagara Falls DoubleTree Fallsview Resort, it sat unused until the owners had the idea to turn it into a bit of an art project. Covered in letters, space scenes and a sort of psychedelic world, painted by local artist “Enzo” and myself; today it enjoys plenty of attention from tourists and locals alike. If you have a chance, check it out in person and see for yourself: 5479 Robinson St., Niagara Falls (Robinson and Stanley).
Thanks go out to The Niagara Falls Historical Museum, The DoubleTree Fallsview, Crewzine, Enzo, and Juice Willis Entertainment.