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CONTRIBUTION · 23rd October 2010
James Ippel
I have restrained myself from commenting on this disgusting debacle of "supposed art", but have come to the point where I must point out that this is not art. This is" ghetto graffiti" in its worst form. True. there might be one, or possibly two murals acceptable to a level headed society, but give me a break--for the most part, there is no artistic motivation displayed on the walls of an already dilapidated, and deserted looking building.

To me, art, are the murals displayed on various building in Terrace. They have a theme, and are well planned, painted, and displayed to the public.

They are pleasing to the eye, and a definite positive item to the community.

Were I an investor looking to spend some money in Terrace, and having the opportunity to view the disgusting spectacle displayed at 4617 Greig Ave., I would pack my bags, run for the hills, and question the sanity of the local City Council who allowed this atrocity.
Now closed to commenting
Comment by Editor on 28th October 2010
This article is now closed to commenting.

Are you kidding??
Comment by nicole on 28th October 2010
To those city councellors who voted for this, admit you made a mistake!, get together on the weekend, and paint it over. This building now looks trashy and my 13 year old asked me if Terrace now has "a ghetto" How silly of you all to tarnish such a beautiful city!!
ACID??? is this okay with you??
Comment by Darcy on 27th October 2010
How did it become be okay for the city to allow one of the "artists" to put references to drugs on a city owned building?? What kind of message does this send to kids? Visitors?

It seems that it is just "anything goes" these days. When I saw the 6foot high letters I was a little sickened about the seeming endorsing of something so damaging by the City of Terrace.

Years ago Victoria did a program like this: the art had to be planned and approved. Rules like no drug reference, no racial slurs, had to have a theme, some guidelines at least. It went well in Victoria and was left there for over 10 years. I might add that it was mostly street people who contributed. By having some guidelines it protected the artists from making decisions inappropriate for the city image. The artist also had the satisfaction of their artwork appreciated, supported and to have some positive feedback.

I blame the organizers for this mess. What they heck were they thinking????? Paint over it!
yep it's garbage
Comment by Eric Gavelin on 27th October 2010
Yes I would crush my child's creativity the same way your parents probably did by not letting you scribble on the walls of your childhood home. This looks like total crap and will have to be cleaned up. I am sorry to be blunt but anyone who thinks that 90% of this passes for what would be considered art probably has their view obscured by their colon.
Want to know why painting on buildings in normally illegal? Because is usually turns out like this.
However on the bright side the decor does fit the theme of the crack heads hanging out in front of the place.
Clean it up this is a mess!!!! If you disagree I will gladly come paint your house to match
Comment by Pearl on 27th October 2010
It looks terrible!
Comment by Blinky - Rasp on 27th October 2010
The art is meant mostly for kids to have fun and paint, if they didn't let us paint on co-op you'd see my name all over town looking even more awful, I think myself it looks great, its for the enjoyment for adults and kids to have fun and paint for once at most. Maybe some investors will like the art and make some big art building? We need more creationism in this town, whats a little ghetto art here and there?
one more thing i forgot to mention
Comment by daratha on 27th October 2010
how do you compare spontaneous art to something that was planned?
the art that comes through on trains, or the mill, thats art thats put up under pressure? we as the artist had freedom, and you wanna take that away. or or frown on it. you should try the style and see its not easy, but its fun
know what?
Comment by daratha on 27th October 2010
do you make fun of your own childern when they make refrigerator art?
or is it just because there not your kids that its ok to place them at the bottom of the barrel?
You want to change the town it starts with a little support, and an idea, we hope the graffiti does not go further than that building. The city did great and there part was to encourage more community involvement through the arts, if your not creating your fishing or watching hockey.
get off the computer and do something about it
Changes...were has the time gone
Comment by Sandy on 27th October 2010
Havent been in Terrace for awhile but by the pictures below it looks like Terrace is a little run down and no one cares. Very shameful....but if you guys want to live in it go a head but Im disgusted. Growin up in Terrace you only seen grad remarks on the rocks or the bridge.
Comment by Marianne Brorup Weston on 27th October 2010
I am astonished by the adults who are so eager to devalue our youth's creative efforts.

I echo Shannelle's comments, "Would you put down your own child's artistic effort like this?"

And, "Who of you is able to sit in the comfort of your nice warm home let alone climb around on ladders in the pouring rain and produce anything even remotely as talent-filled?"

I didn't see any movement by this thread of vocal commentators to volunteer to fix up the building to their non-provocative middle-class touristy-standards, using their own supplies and labour.
Graffiti Fest 2010
Comment by Jill Kent on 26th October 2010
I think the graffiti fest on the old Co Op Bldg has spruced up the downtown area....What a lot of colour introduced into a once deary part of town with huge weeds growing out of the cracks of the sidewalk of a boarded up old building......I go there to eat my lunch now and find new things to look at in the art everyday...And to be so creative in the pouring rain........Way to Go Young People of Terrace.
I like it
Comment by Shannelle Alexander on 26th October 2010
For all those complaining, why don't you take the initiative in YOUR community and make some of your suggestions come to a realization?
Someone did something, who are each of you to come crap on their idea? So what if you don't think it's art. I think it's great, even if it only stays awhile, it gives many people the pride to point and say "that piece is mine". How would you feel is someone was running down your childs art? What if they worked really hard on something and someone came along and said it looked like crap? Where is your heart Terrace?

I drove by the first day they started and was so impressed by those that showed up in the rain. Way to go to the organizers for not only thinking, but doing.
right up there
Comment by Lloyd on 26th October 2010
Its right up there with the railcar graffiti. Were they insured while doing it? Seems that we had an artist condemned for doing art on city property without insurance.
Comment by stacey tyers on 26th October 2010
maybe that's the problem.

Maybe we need to attract those kind of investors too. Maybe a lil diversity is what we need. I for one take the train and like graffiti.
well then...
Comment by stacey tyers on 26th October 2010
so essentially we only appreciate art if it is conformed to our definition?

the youth had fun, give them their enjoyment. i like looking at it.

can't please everyone.

I see art as a creative expression.... that's my world and my personal view.
Co-op Art?
Comment by Holly Cowman on 26th October 2010
Perhaps a better suited place for the 'Co-op Art' would be at a skateboard park where the youth hang out (if in fact there is one in Terrace ?)
(An observation from a Terracite in Whitehorse)
wading in
Comment by Steve Smyth on 26th October 2010
While I can appreciate the concept and the idea behind it, the end result simply does not work. I'm all for giving youth a chance to be involved and express themselves, this does not bring any value to downtown Terrace, in fact, it has quite the opposite effect.

Most of the people I've talked to consider it a hideous failure. That doesnt mean the kids who did it are failures, simply that the result is generally considered, by the majority, as unnatractive.

I give kudos to the people involved in planning the project for coming on here and explaining the rational behind the project however, people "getting off the train" are likely not the people who enjoy graffitti and what it may represent. People who are looking to invest money in Terrace and provide jobs are generally not concerned with whether or not the City is "creative, playful and open to new things" Not all experiments are successful and not always 100% succesful.

If nothing else, it has been successful in getting people to talk about the "grey elephant" in the room.
Co-op Graffiti
Comment by c. sandecki on 26th October 2010
I spent half an hour one sunny afternoon photographing all around the building and most remarkable to me - I identified only one misspelled word - cherry's rather than cherries - on the eastern end.
That suggests thought went into the work of most 'artists'.
If you think painting a surface that size is easy, give it a try.
Several of the artists show true potential for a career as a graphic artist. Just my opinion. I know nothing about art.
shame on councillors
Comment by peter demedeiros on 26th October 2010
either the city should paint over this mess or better yet demolish the friggin' thing.nothing against the artists but it looks a little bush league.overall this is totally embarrasing to the city of terrace.if we want to attract investors do something,the sooner the better !!!
all councillors that voted this in should welcome these works of art at their own homes.
what a joke.
i agree with ippel
Comment by lou on 26th October 2010
the city councilloors open a can worms with this .for every empty building from now on may be graffiti on it .soon you will c west fraser skeena sawmills looking like that .instead of thinking wat to do with this million dollar debachle you make look like east hastings . HERE S a suggestion for the coop building make it a museum of what terrace used to be .
na, even worse
Comment by tom on 26th October 2010
Art eh, not quite the group of seven, this vain attempt at Warhol art fails to capture my imagination even for 15 minutes. Direct the kids with a theme, then maybe we could see some form of quality potential. I saw much more art in the simlicity of the previous emptynees. Good idea to be inclusive with the youth, however, again, direct them with a theme and challenge them to be creative and then, we can see what they can do. As it stands now, it is the youth that face this embarrasment.
I like it
Comment by C. Arnold on 26th October 2010
I also like the graffiti, and I recognize that is not a completed job... I think people should be encouraged to complete it and fill in the spaces. I think it's neat to see the business logos done in a more funky urban way.

I give the city credit for taking a risk on trying this idea out and I think there was value from the sounds of it for the youth and others involved. I also think its great that some of the businesses in town supported the idea with materials etc.

I love the other regular murals in town as well, but I just think graffiti is interesting to look at also.

It may very well end up painted over with another shade of grey, but I don't think it should be slammed quite so hard by people.
Comment by Crystal on 26th October 2010
Well I think it was a great idea, whether it looks good or not, it has been something that brought our community together. Not very often we see that a small organization can pull this off, with the approval of the city. We often speak our mind, but we never look on the bright side of what these people are trying to do within Terrace. If we shame our youth by telling them that this is wrong, they then turn off that switch and put it to anger. If we continue to work with them show them the meaning of proper graffitti then at least we can say that we were there. These youth were not trying to impress the whole community they just figured they would go and have fun with it. Our tourist may not understand what it is when getting off the train or walking past, but all we have to say is, our Community came together and had fun. We are proud of what talent our youth have and 1 day they will be asked to do a mural, for now they are just finding their talent.
Great advertising!
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 26th October 2010
Look on the bright side. Maybe some do-good investor or developer will pass through town, notice the building with all the graffiti, recognize it as abandoned and purchase it. And the city doesn't even need to add another telling realty sign to another building.
graffiti great
Comment by Marianne Brorup Weston on 26th October 2010
Maybe I am crazy, but I think the Co-op building looks much better. I am a trained artist and graffiti IS art - it's a reflection of our current culture.

When we travelled in northern Europe this past spring we saw tons of graffiti in places like London, Sotckholm, Copenhagen and it greatly added to the culture & urbanity of the place.

Art is not always 'nice' - although in my opinion some of the art on the Co-op building far surpasses the middle-of-the-road-let's-not-rock-the-boat-art on the 'approved' murals.

As how visitors to the community might react, I suspect some of them will say, "Wow, look at that - here's a community that embraces its youth & encourages them to express themselves."

Perhaps if someone provided these youth with proper scaffolding & safety measures we would see a more 'complete' work.
Work in progress, just like Terrace
Comment by Sasa Loggin on 25th October 2010
I am also one of the organizers of the event. I appreciate the dialogue and the attention that we were able to bring to this remarkable property full of potential and the opportunity to make this community alive again working together just like the Co-op did for so many years.

During the weekend a month ago, it was pouring rain, it was cold and still a good number of people of all ages (mainly youth) came out to make their mark. For some, this was their first attempt at graffiti as others showed off their techniques. But all had a wonderful time and felt that this is their city too. I was very impressed how generous the artists were in teaching each other and respecting each other’s space. Majority of the artwork respected the rules of the event – no nudity, profanity or racial slurs. I agree it can be better but getting better comes with practice. I have watched a number of young people who came each of the three days improve quite a bit. We can’t just give young people one rainy weekend and then say: “Sorry, it is ugly. You are no good”. We need to provide them opportunities to get better, support them, guide them, encourage them, believe in them. Not just for this event but for any event. Yes, it may be out there. We may not get it but we should not just say ‘No’.

I would like to encourage anyone who can help to continue the work to step forward – we could use safe scaffolding or donation of spray paint which is pretty expensive (some of the artists spent over $100). I would also like to encourage artists of all styles to come out to continue the work.

We need to remember that this is a temporary building that will eventually come down. As Kim said, it was gray, beat up and not something that anybody was proud of before the event so it is not a big loss, nothing got vandalized.

The message it sends to visitors to Terrace is that this is a town that is creative, playful, open to new things. A city that allows its young people to be involved and express themselves. I wish we have done this earlier. I wish we become that city!
my .02 too
Comment by R1chard Jenn1ss on 25th October 2010

I think the graffiti fest was the best thing that happened to this building.


It put the COOP issue front row center.
It reached out to youth and it got people motivated.
If "graffiti" was the wrong direction it has definitely helped establish a direction.
Honestly I felt all scenarios prior where partisan and endless with speculation.

Lets take it further and go in the building.
Comment by Bernie Snort on 25th October 2010
I think the idea to have graffiti on the building wasn't a bad one, but it was rushed. I have seen some graffiti which truly is a work of art. Some of the graffiti done at the old Mill street is pretty good. I wouldn't call any of it a work of art, but it's pleasing to my eyes.

Asking people to just pull out spray cans and do something beautiful at prompting is like asking a toilet training toddler to poop on demand, you might get what you ask for if the stars are in alignment, but probably not.

I think the building should be painted over again, and offer Terrace residents a chance to paint something up, but require an idea first, and a time frame for how long it could reasonably take so it doesn't all have to be rushed in on a weekend.

Okay Bernie, we looked. There is no one listed anywhere, in any directory, in the Sacred Circle with the last name of 'Snort'. Nice comment though, respectful.
It is what it is ....
Comment by Kim Woodd on 25th October 2010
I will confess, as part of the Arts Council, to being one of the organizers for the Graffiti Fest that saw the old Co-op building have ‘art’ added to its walls. It was an attempt to have an activity for our young artists who have been using their talents at the old mill site. It was also a way of calling attention to the Co-op site and starting a dialogue regarding its future. It had the potential to be a success - or not - depending on how many artists were willing to show up and put in their time, not only during that weekend but afterwards as a continuing project.
When the Arts Council and Skeena Diversity approached the City, it was with the encouragement and enthusiasm of the local youth. In some ways, it has been disappointing to me that more of them did not participate; display their talents and continue to improve the project out of their own initiative. The group that had talked about painting a mural did not follow up. There was also an attitude - by a very small minority of the painters - that they did not have to show respect to the organizers and businesses in the area. There are a few less-than-desirable messages in the art but here are several really great pieces as well. But when you encourage freedom of expression in a public venue, you lose control of content. Is this a good or bad thing?
Most of the comments have brought up the fact that there have been many suggestions for use for the site and all of them have stalled out. It still belongs to the City and even before Graffiti Fest it was a big, ugly, gray, derelict building where homeless people hang out for shelter, only now Terrace residents are unable to ignore it and put it in a great big “someone else’s problem” bubble.
I agree with parts of all the comments posted, both negative and positive, but do not feel the organizers or the City need to apologize for the current state of the building. It was, and is, an innovative way of reaching out to youth and a social experiment. Is it a reflection of our citizens’ pride in their community?
I challenge the graffiti painting youth to go back and continue working on the site and turn it into something that their elders can commend them for.
I challenge our Council and their staff to come up with a plan for the site that we can all get behind.
Soon, there is supposed to be a Community Forum to discuss plans for future development of the area. I challenge anyone who has expressed an opinion or posted here to attend and have a say.
For those who have only had a drive-by experience, get out and walk around the building. You may gain a new perspective.
Look forward to future posts. Angry? Complimentary? Critical? And the dialogue the project has created.
And finally folks, it is TEMPORARY!!! No matter what happens the building is going to come down and in less than 10 years (hopefully much less) no-one will even remember it was there.
Fore Thought
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 25th October 2010
After Rich McDaniel passed away, when Mayor Pernarowski first took a seat at the Council Chambers, the Council considered a plan to attract RV's and Buses to park behind the Co-op. David Block, the City Planner discussed cleaning up the area, painting lines and putting in lighting. Councillor Marylin Davies expressed the hope that signage could be placed along Kieth Avenue and out on the highway, directing people to this new parking area for tour buses and RV convoy's.

Pernarowski argued against it stating that the area was not attractive and would not be a preferable place to be the first impression for visiting tourists.

I suggested at the time the huge back wall of the Co op building could be painted as a stylized map of the local areas featuring the locations of the attractions; the Heritage Park, the hiking trails, the Library, Park and more. I also stated that the only ugly part of the area was the city owned part. Even the Sears building had a nice mural and the Terrace Best Western had just recently painted their building. It was the City that needed to clean up it's own act.

Today we have an opportunity lost.

I believe if the entire structure was covered it might look okay because the poor art would be disguised by the good. The entire back wall however could have been a feature welcomed by everyone.

All it would have taken is a little foresight. Someone with imagination. Something so sadly lacking in today's leadership. (and that does not just mean Terrace.)
Eye Soar
Comment by Anonymous - Roy on 25th October 2010
I agree with most of the local people, the co-op building is a embarrassment to Terrace for tourist that come in off the train. Due to the fact that is the first thing that they are going to see is that Eye Soar. I wish the city council put more effort and planning into the building.
Comment by Marylin Davies on 25th October 2010
Couldn'dt agree with you more, Jim. Well said.
Did anyone think about the welcome this graffiti would convey to our tourists arriving on the train?
Murals would have been such a nice touch. Of course, they could not have been thrown together in a day.
co op store
Comment by Brian Grant on 25th October 2010
Agrees, AWFUL idea to spray paint..Looks like east Vancouver...some say its Art....this is not art..eyesore
Eye of the beholder
Comment by No last Name - Calvin C on 25th October 2010
Well, I'll say I don't really like it but art is judged by a person for their own enjoyment, this is still art in its finest form to one person and garbage to another. Part of being in a free country.
Missing The Point?
Comment by No last Name - Tara on 25th October 2010
I know this is a controversial topic, but in my opinion, if it stops young people from doing the same sort of graffiti where it is NOT permitted, than it has served a purpose. Maybe the art is not a perfect mural as the other murals depicted in those photos, but it was a creative outlet for young artists, and therefore I appreciate it. I don't care who disagrees with me, I just wanted to point out that this article kind of missed the point. I thought the aim was to have a specific area for people to be able to graffiti, instead of having it show up randomly throughout town where it is not supposed to be. Just my .02