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Graffiti artists changing the way you see St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- If it's up to you and I to make S-T-L, a better place to live, we might need a little help from O-U-R.

"O-U-R stands for Operation Urban Renewal," says aerosol artist Adam Sherman.

This three man paint crew is trying to change the way you see the city of St. Louis.

"One thing that aerosol art does is just brighten brilliant colors that we like to use," says Sherman.  "You know, it's nice to be burning colors in a grey world."

Or say a blue collar town that loves some redbirds.

But this graphic artist, woodworker and fine art painter begin each project with a simple drawing.

"Say we have a 32 by eight foot wall back there," says Sherman.  "It's a useful tool for us to each have one so that you can further proportionate your mural from the very beginning."

You might have seen flood walls, garages or even tugboats tastefully painted by O-U-R.

Today they're indoors and outdoors at 2720 Cherokee to complete some new work.

"We like to think of it as we want to go around doing public art that makes places look better," says Myles Keough.

"That you can make someone get up and go look at that," says Davide Weaver the co-owner of 2720 Cherokee.  "It enhances that district, it enhances everything about the region and the city."

Working legally with the city as their canvas they'll continue without any brushes, using only their craniums and some aerosol cans.

"That's our main objective is to do murals and big stuff and show people that aerosol is not just graffiti," says Justin Dirks.  "It's a medium, it's not just something used to vandalize."

Especially if it's something from O-U-R that can benefit all of us.


  • Kelly

    By all rights these are true artists just looking for a place to create something colorful for us all to enjoy. We need to give them a place and allow them to be creative. Not all of them are thugs tagging buildings with their gang names and looking for trouble and to believe that is just plain ignorance. Many of our famous artists who choose to do something seen as “different” are often condemned by the status quo. Think outside the box STL,

  • Davide

    If people are given the chance to channel their energy into something positive, good things will come.
    Our city needs to create more outlets for the Arts & Sports in “educational” formats & in “freedom to express” formats.

    If we really want to combat the high crime in our city we need to fix our broken educational system. High crime areas and poor education systems are what go hand in hand.
    I love this city but St. Louis City has one of the worst public school systems in the country and continuously ranks in the top 5 of different crime categories.

    How can we address this through Arts & Education?
    Public Art, not only can help clean an area up, it can inspire others in that environment, to do more for their community. Everyday.

    All the greatest cities in the World have the largest collections of public art, and public parks/ spaces to feature it.
    We need to create more outlets for creativity, not discourage creativity. Also we need to find ways to directly fund artists with positive messages.

    For the record 2720 Cherokee Performing Arts Center supports local artist and works hard to give artists, of different disciplines, the opportunity to show case their talents.

  • Steven Sweeney

    If that garbage was art, it would be on canvas, bought and sold, and featured in legitimate galleries..Instead, it defaces private and public buildings at taxpayer expense, and we all pay for the tagging that gangs use to communicate..You liberals are seriously out of touch with reality..That’s why you’re liberals..

    • artisnotacrime

      Because you “know” art right? And it all must be on a canvas.

      Art -the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

      Where does it say or even sound like it remotely has any boundaries or limitations. Thats what people love about it. No one said gang tags were art…open your mind a little. Dont be scared, you’ll be ok.

  • artisnotacrime

    Street art is causing crime…..riiiiiiiiiiight. of course, that must be it. Most good street art is not what you see “defacing” private property, and shouldn’t even be in the same catagory as gang scribble. There are bad apples in every bunch, I dont care where you are.

  • Scott Calhoun

    Hey Steve Sweeney, your argument is again invalid, as you can gladly look up Peat Wollaeger, a world renowned tag/graffiti artist that resides right here in STL and has his graffiti art in galleries and is sold quite often… You have the issue of a tiny, narrow minded republican viewpoint whereby anything you deem negative is spun to suit your agenda of making this world drab… Just cuz you like your art on canvas doesn’t mean the entire world should… We just think outside the box while your tiny brain can’t comprehend ideas that aren’t the everyday norm

    • Steven Sweeney

      wow, one guy out of a million taggers..Call me when sotheby’s or christies has an auction…As far as ‘world renowned” how come anybody outside the waffle house kitchen staff hasn’t heard of him? Btw, as far as intellect, I’ve squeezed out more after a long lunch than you’ve ever displayed..guess that’s art too…stupid liberals..Go put a cross in a jar in urine..

      • artisnotacrime

        Banksy’s have sold for 6 figs. Better do yout homework before you act like you have any idea about what you are talking about.

    • Steven Sweeney

      Oh “banksy” a limey dbag that hides his face because he’s a proven criminal for defacing buildings..BTW, I know art..Just look at work: i frequently sketch mohammed, use barb wire and manneqins for my matthew shepherd exhibit, and have open bids on george zimmermans works..Graffiti is like the NEA: Liberal crooks and moochers, cheating the taxpayer, because they won’t get a job or be responsible..I think Vermeer and Van Gogh would agree..

  • Rush

    Art makes you feel emotions, a sense of belonging in a society filled with critics. If you say that you have done masterpieces that have been in galleries and such, well congratulations to you. But, it does not ive you any right to bash others opinions especially on a subject that emphasizes free speech and public expressions. I’m just a teenager and a student who is learning about urban art and you CANNOT call every street artist a criminal. Reading about it in depth will help you understand why graffiti artists do what they do. Also, calling a major artist a “dbag” is really clever like please hold me, im fainting from hearing such wise words(i hope you understand sarcasm). Im not bashing your political views or even what you think is art, but I am hurt by the way you have treated amazing mins not only of artists, but the people who have replied to this thread. I love how adults say that teenagers are the scum of society, but really it’s critics like Mr. Sweeney who cannot express an opinion without being rude.

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