SANTA ROSA – A commission to create large wall murals for a grant of $5,000 per mural will be awarded two artists chosen by the Santa Rosa Police Department’s Graffiti Abatement Program and the Redevelopment Agency in a mural contest open to professional and amateur muralists.
Two fences in the 900 block of Aston Avenue, frequently the site of graffiti, will serve as the canvas for the winning murals.
Applications for the two spots must be received by the Graffiti Abatement Program by 5 p.m., March 15. The applications and proposed sketches of the murals will be reviewed and voted on by an Artist Selection Panel consisting of arts professionals, representatives from the abatement program, the mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force, Neighborhood Revitalization Program, landowners, neighborhood organizations and community members. Those sketches will then be submitted to the Arts in Public Places Committee for review and approval.
Santa Rosa’s Gateways Redevelopment Project was established to reduce graffiti and blight with the project area. Project sites were chosen because of their chronic issues with gang graffiti, and property owners’ interest in using art as a means to deter graffiti.
“Our goal is to reduce graffiti vandalism while providing a positive outlet for artists and a source of pride for the South Park neighborhood,” said Georgia Pedgraft, project coordinator and graffiti abatement technician. “Aston Avenue also receives a large amount of traffic due to its close proximity to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. These murals have the opportunity to be seen by thousands of motorists and pedestrians every year.”
Each artist will be awarded $5,000 to complete the project. The money for this project is contributed by the Gateways Redevelopment Project, which has put money aside to address negative effects of graffiti on the neighborhood. Those concerns include gang activity, reduced property values and safety.
For detailed information, criteria and an application, visit http://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departments/police/Pages/default.aspx.