Tagger hits art wall in downtown Nanaimo

Tagger hits art wall in downtown Nanaimo
WatchA giant message painted on Downtown Nanaimo's Urban Art Wall is sparking controversy and concern.

Heads are turning on foot and by car after a tagger added his work in letters ten feet tall to the urban art wall in downtown Nanaimo. 

“How did somebody get that up there,” said Nanaimo resident Violet Dancy.

“I love it. I love it. It makes you think,” said Nanaimo resident Titia Jetten.

“It’s provocative. It’s cool.”

While the tag is not over the murals already painted on the old A & B sound building, it is just above them, and opinions are mixed whether the tagger’s statement is an eyesore or an addition to the art display.

“It doesn’t really look like art,” said Dancy.

“This is just bold,” said Jetten.

Nanaimo artist Russ Morland is impressed with the tag.

“I really like big murals like that,” said Morland.

“I really like big tags. I think it really brightens up a city. I like cities like Montreal that are covered in street art.”

The massive tag was done in recent days, right alongside busy Terminal Avenue where thousands of cars pass by each day.

Artist Sean Sherstone figures it likely took many hours to pull off, with the tagger possibly hanging down from the rooftop above.

“It probably would take him a couple hours,” said Sherstone.

“And people are just driving by and going on with their lives and not really concerned about what he’s doing,” he said.

The group that fundraised to put the art wall up, Humanity in Art, is fuming. It stated on social media that the tagging on the second floor of the building violates the approved use on the building and could jeopardize the entire art wall now.

“The massive tag put above the open art wall is an act of entitlement and selfishness. This guy violated multiple terms of our building agreement that allows us to operate the urban art gallery and open art wall. Because of this one guy’s actions, we are now faced with a possible closure of the urban art gallery and open art wall,” the post by Humanity in Art reads.   

Regarding the recent vandalism of the urban art gallery. We'll keep you posted.

Posted by Humanity In Art on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

“An old building that’s probably going to get torn down one day?” said Morland.

“Brighten up the city, why not,” he said.

A fundraising effort is now underway to remove the tagging that some consider art. 

One woman who passed by the mural tells CHEK News she knows who did it, and says he’s an artist that now knows he violated the rules. Whether the tag will come down as quickly as it went up though, remains to be seen.  

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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