Sunday, April 25, 2010

Graffiti art in "Edge Skate Park"

A few slides show a chipped "Free Wall" with about an inch of graffiti paint!  The wall has been painted over so many times that you can find layers of paint dating back 15 years.  The walls you see have been painted more than once in the last month.  

Graffiti art has been painted on the “Free Walls” of Redmond’s downtown Edge Skate Park from the day it was dedicated, over 15 years ago.  Anyone is free to paint graffiti on the walls.  These walls are special not only for their art, but for mitigating unwanted graffiti tags from migrating into the skate arena itself.

The skate board and BMX community and neighborhoods have great pride in Edge Park. Skaters say the creative graffiti art usually lasts on the Free Walls for 2-4 weeks before it has to be painted over again.  An unidentified community of passionate graffiti artists re-paint the walls.  According to Ken Wong of the Teen Center, the graffiti artists aren't managed by the City.

Redmond's one-of-a kind Edge Skate Park is located a stone's throw from the downtown Fire station and Metro Bus Park & Ride on 8420 161st Ave. NE.  The Free Walls facing the Park & Ride usually have the best graffiti art. Their tags are probably painted over more often owing to their visibility to commuters.  The paint thickness shows it.

Redmond Parks Operations Manager, Dave Tuchek, says the Park was conceptualized in the mid-1995's by Nick Lovell of the Redmond Police Department.  It was built during the Rosemarie Ives Administration. Dave says, periodically - less than 5-6 times/year - obscenities or graffiti are tagged in the concrete skating arena by outsiders.   Dave says, if the tags aren't removed within about 24 hours it gets worse and spreads.  He takes pictures of the tags for the police report.  Police and Fire have presence too; their refueling station is next door.  

By Bob Yoder
Seattle Times Communities Partner
Photos by Yoder (35 photos)

The Seattle Times graffiti story (4/26) is here 


Anonymous said...

Used to live in Redmond and rode the bus out of the Redmond P&R right next to the skate park. I think the graffitti wall is a pretty good idea but there's a more serious problem at the skate park that needs to be addressed: every morning, the skate park and the surrounding area is filled with trash despite there being numerous trash cans handy. The city needs to forcefully suggest that the skaters and bikers that use the park be more self-policing in this regard or risk having the park turned into a fountain.

Anonymous said...

The graffiti on the walls looks great. On the fence, however, not so much.

Anonymous said...

I have been taking photos of the progression of the graffiti wall. I only have a few months worth though. It seems that if something nice goes up it usually lasts for a few weeks.

I spoke with one of the artist and he said, "I like to paint something that matters and looks good. I try to cover the tags up with appealing art." He is also a design student at LWTC and also said, "The computer designing can get mundane and unsocial. With being social it is a way to break away from the same style and get ideas from everyday life."