Graffiti artist causing headaches for MoDOT and St. Louis city

News
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – St. Louis loves it when people come here to paint the town; unless they are here to really paint the town.

‘We go out and clean it up and they just come right behind us and put it back,’ said Mark Croarkin, MoDOT Maintenance Engineer.

It has been happening for about a month now, a significant increase in graffiti vandalism that seems to be concentrated along Interstate 70 from the Musial Bridge through the depressed section, where new construction has created tempting blank canvasses.

But it is also spreading into other parts of the city and into North St. Louis County.

“I would say two or three times a year, we go out and clean up graffiti in a normal year,” Croarkin said. ‘This year we have two and three crews out at a time cleaning up graffiti every week,’ he said.

John Harrington is co-founder of Paint Louis, a city sanctioned event allowing graffiti artists to express themselves on a section of the downtown floodwall.

“Sounds to me like there is a new artist in town or someone switched their name up and they are trying to get up and get seen,” Harrington said.

When this year’s Paint Louis event was held the weekend of September 10-12, so many big name artists were invited, others felt squeezed out, and may have acted out.

“Some of the artists who expected to get on didn`t get a chance to get on and maybe went out there and did some things to make us look bad because they weren`t accepted,” Harrington said.

He says if those artists went on a spray painting spree, it would have likely lasted only a few days, though seeing it might have emboldened others to pile on.

Hoping to make amends with the city, Harrington and his crew have been spending their own money cleaning up whatever graffiti they can find.

“At the end of the day, even though technically it has nothing to do with Paint Louis, we are going to clean it up and show you that we are on the right side,” Harrington said.

Paint Louis began in 1994, but was canceled in 2001 because some of the participants strayed from the floodwall and began painting other parts of the city.

With the support of Mayor Slay, it was revived in 2011, but the mayor`s office has reminded Paint Louis it could lose its permit again if the problem continues.

FOX 2 Newsletters

Sign up for a newsletter from FOX 2 to get updates about news and weather. We offer daily headlines, breaking news, severe weather, and forecast emails.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News