The Graffiti Action Partnership (GAP) is between La Plata Youth Services and the Durango Police Department. This program was started with the purpose of cleaning up illegal graffiti in and around Durango on public and private lands.
In 2014 La Plata Youth Services implemented a public art advocacy component to GAP, in order to allow the participating youth a chance to express themselves through legal public art. The city of Durango now allows for use of our shed as a canvas for self expression and exploring different painting styles.
On June 29th the LPYS shed saw its first splash of color! Five youth participated in the first public mural at La Plata Youth Services. The results are fantastic:
All participating youth are accompanied by a professional graffiti artist who teaches them philosophy behind certain street artists and ethics of street art, the techniques for can control, and self expression through art.
Participating youth learn that there are ethics to doing street art with spray paint and other art medium. Youth recognize that the best way to create a piece with positive meaning is by ASKING FIRST and clearing the project with the property owner and city. Graffiti which is labeled as tagging and as gang related and/or vandalism is not generally accepted by the public and further criminalizes the art form and artists who perform it. Youth are taught to recognize the negative impact of graffiti vandalism and are required to participate in painting over vandalism the day before a mural project. This activity addresses the prevalence of victims in vandalism cases while providing a valuable service to the community by cleaning up graffiti and beautifying Durango.