Graffiti Up in Knoxville

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

Knoxville (WVLT) - Graffiti artists are finding their colorful works around town are getting them into a colorful mess with local authorities.

Officials with the Knoxville Police Department tell us the number of arrests for repeat graffiti offenders is up lately, especially those marking up buildings and bridges in west Knoxville.

However, several of those offenders are now getting a chance to cover up their designs as part of their punishment. We spoke with one artist who didn't want to be seen on camera, but told us after being arrested three times and facing the court system, he knew he had to stop.

Also helping in the effort to clean up is members of the Keep Knoxville Beautiful organization. Both sides agree they want artists to have a place to display their works.

"Any aspects of art you'd find in a fine oil painting will be on a wall in graffiti," one anonymous artist said.

"We're urging people who have artistic tendencies to find another way to express themselves in a besides painting peoples' buildings," said Tom Salter from Keep Knoxville Beautiful.

The artist we spoke with says he now plans on displaying his art through a new T-shirt line he's starting instead of local buildings.

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