Getting rid of graffiti with more paint

AUSTIN, Minn. – The passion for painting began at a young age for Nicole Weiss.

“I had really bad anxiety, so I couldn’t really go outside and make friends. I guess my outlet was painting. I really loved it. It kept me busy. It made me feel useful,” Weiss said.

Now, she is getting the chance to share her passion with the city.

“I thought it was an awesome way to get the community involved in more artistic things and share my art with the community,” Weiss said.

Graffiti is spread all over the city of Austin, and some of it is vulgar. Vision 2020 has helped to create a “graffiti task force” that finds artists to cover it with more friendly designs.

“We’ve picked certain spots in town that are pretty heavy hit. When they talk to parks and rec., they get a map of where they can go. We’re also working with the Austin Police Department, so that they have the go-ahead to cover it,” said task force member, Jennie Knoebel.

The hope is to give the town a friendlier look, and at the same time, make sure the graffiti does not show up again.

“All of the graffiti is being covered with protection. Basically, it’s like an anti-graffiti sealant that we put over it so you can’t actually paint it on there. Also, there’s been a lot of research done that says if a painting is on something, it’s less likely to get tagged,” Knoebel said.

She said they have more projects on the way, including major ones for Packer Arena and the Habitat for Humanity office.

“A lot of people are excited about it and are excited to see more art around the city,” Knoebel said.

She said more artists have been coming out of the woodwork that want to take part in the city-wide project.

If you would like to help out, and show off your artwork at the same time, contact Austin Parks and Recreation for details.

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