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  • January 31, 2023 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    The main difference between graffiti and street art is that graffiti typically includes letters and words, whereas street art includes images. 

    Graffiti and street art are art we can see in public places like outside walls of buildings and walkways. They are free to view. Artists often use their work as a form of political and social commentary and activism. Despite these similarities, there are some differences between graffiti and street art.

    What is Graffiti

    Graffiti is writing, or drawings scratched, scribbled, or sprayed illegally on a wall or other surface in a public place. Since it involves an unauthorized marking of public space, it’s considered a form of vandalism. 

    Some consider graffiti as anti-social behavior as a form of thrill-seeking or to gain attention.

    Graffiti often involves spray painting. It typically represents rebellion and is the visual language of the unheard. People also associated graffiti with hip-hop culture. It started in urban America during the mid 20th century. Philadelphia and New York were the centers of this art form.

    The common perception of graffiti is that it’s spray painting on public walls by members of street gangs. This is because gang members sometimes use graffiti as a form of marking their territory. But in the modern world, people are gradually starting to recognize graffiti as a form of art. However, it is still not universally accepted as art.

    What is Street Art

    Street art is visual art created in public places, such as sidewalks, exterior walls of buildings, and highway overpasses. We can usually observe street art in urban areas. Street art can involve different media, including spray painting, mosaic tiling, stencil art, LED art, sticker art, wheatpasting, woodblocking, yarn bombing, Lock On sculptures, and rock balancing. Berlin wall in Germany, Batman’s Alley and Morro da Providencia in Brazil, streets of New York city, and West Bank wall of Palestine are some popular places for street art.

    Although street art has its origin in graffiti, it is different from graffiti in terms of its perception. Artists generally create street art to convey a message to the public. These messages are often political ideas or social commentaries that raise the awareness of the public. Some street artists have even gained international fame and have moved into mainstream art. Unlike graffiti, street artists may create art with permission (from the owners of the building) and even through commissions.

    Difference Between Graffiti and Street Art


    Graffiti is writing, or drawings scratched, scribbled, or sprayed illegally on a wall or other surface in a public place, while street art is visual art created in public places.


    Graffiti is usually created without permission and is seen as a form of vandalism, but street art may be created with permission or on commission as well.


    Graffiti mainly uses spray painting, while street art involves a variety of media like spray painting, mosaic tiling, stencil art, LED art, sticker art, and yarn bombing.

    Visual Content

    While graffiti is letter-based, street art is image-based. In other words, graffiti tends to have some letterings, while street arts have a wider range of visuals and are often similar to traditional murals.

    Public Perception

    Some people associate graffiti with gangs, vandalism, and violence, so graffiti tends to have a negative image among people, whereas street art has a more positive perception than graffiti.

    Inspired by and edited from the original article by Hasa,

  • December 01, 2022 6:17 PM | Anonymous

    Art Makes Life Better

    The most important thing about art in our lives is its intrinsic aesthetic value - it makes 

    life better. In what Statistics Canada calls the arts and cultural industries - the creative and performing arts and the production and industrial arts - are all involved in a continuous never-ending fight for those industries to also be taken seriously in the economic landscape of Canada. 

    Everyone understands the "quality-of-life" arguments for the arts and culture. We know that; and it is known by all levels of government. We see that on the glossy front covers of brochures and on websites of practically every town, city and province – including ours. 

    There are pictures of theatres, cultural and indigenous icons, public artworks, ballet dancers and symphony orchestras, along with the pictures of city halls, rail yards and airports, because small "c" culture is fundamentally important to the mix in any civic, provincial or national infrastructure.  

    Life without art - without music, literature, paintings, sculpture, theatre - even just without show business - would, for most rational people, be impossible to contemplate. But we need to think of arts and culture in a different light, and to convince others to do so - to think of them in a way and in a different context.  

    The arts are a huge, thriving and growing industry in our country. That is not the important thing about the arts and culture. Those aesthetic values are the most important thing. Civilizations past and present are known to historians, and to their contemporaries, not so much by their bank accounts as by their culture. 

    But economic importance does count. Partly because of the free trade agreements, the arts and cultural industries in Canada – because industries are what they are - have been under intense scrutiny over the past 10 years or so.  

    Why are the Americans so insistent about access to our arts and cultural markets? Why do they treat our concerns about cultural identity with bemused disdain? It is because the Americans (and some Canadians too) have come to appreciate and understand the economic significance of the arts and cultural industries.  

    Think about the biggest mergers and acquisitions worldwide in the past five years or so. About than half of them, rated by dollar value, have been in the arts and cultural industries. 

    Economists and politicians have suddenly realized that here is an industry, with comparatively very low levels of support from government, that is one of the most labour intensive, cost-effective and efficient areas of the business sector, and one which deals primarily with a constantly renewable resource and with a huge potential for growth. 

    The Government of the United States has, after many years, been awakened by the irrefutable statistics to the economic importance of its arts and culture industries. They do not call them that but that is what they are.  

    They can no longer ignore the fact that for the past 30 years their largest economic export commodity was the airplane. However, their second largest was not cars or computers or information technology; It was arts & culture - and show business. 

    Culture Industries Have a $58.9 Billion Impact in Canada.

    That’s what the latest StatsCan data shows, and that’s more than the national impact of accommodation and food services. It’s also eight times more than sports. 

    • The direct economic impact of culture industries was estimated at $58.9 billion in Canada in 2017, or $1,611 per capita and 2.8% of the country’s GDP.  

    • In 2017, there were 715,400 jobs directly related to culture industries, or 3.8% of all jobs in the country. 

    • The GDP of culture industries ($59 billion) is larger than the value added of agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting ($39 billion), accommodation and food services ($46 billion), and utilities ($46 billion).  

    • Statistics Canada also provides an estimate of the direct economic impact of sports industries in 2017 ($7.3 billion, or 0.3% of Canada’s GDP).  

    • The direct economic impact of culture industries ($58.9 billion) is eight times larger than the sports estimate.  

    • Similarly, the jobs estimate for culture industries (715,400) is almost six times larger than the estimate for the sports sector (125,500). 

    • Goods and services from government-run organizations are captured separately, along with funding and professional support services. The impact of this sub-sector was $7.6 billion in 2017. Education and training in the culture sector had an impact of $3.7 billion. 

    It makes sense to invest in an industry like that, especially when the cost of sustaining the traditional ones is so high. 

    We must maintain and nourish an environment in which the arts can and will flourish, and in which they are held in respect, both as enhancing our quality of life and as an important part of our economic structure.

    “Governments At All Levels Are Waking Up To These Economic Facts Because The Blunt Fact Is That Arts And Culture Is One Of Our Largest Industrial Sectors.” 

    Tourism is a very close cousin of the arts and cultural industries - and an important one. If you think of it, the main reasons that tourists go somewhere are climate, culture, and shopping. It is the second two, and certainly not the first, that make London and New York tourist meccas. 

    Consider, the arts in that light. Not as secondary, superfluous and outside of Canada's economic mainstream, but rather as a major player in our economy and a serious participant in our future. 

    Not as a sinkhole for government and corporate funds, but rather as a real growth industry from which every dollar invested is returned to our economy doubled, tripled and quadrupled. Not as a playground where indulgent artistes pursue their personal fantasies, but rather as a labour intensive, efficient, lean industry with a proven and increasing market. 

    Because the arts change, they are essentially always the same. They are the means by which we communicate our highest and most noble ideas. They have survived every scourge known to man. In many cases they have been instrumental in effecting positive world changes. They will continue to survive because our need for self-expression, creativity and beauty will remain, however much the externals of our world may change. 

    The arts are significant and vital in every respect of our society. If we treat them with respect and with pride, then no matter what social transitions we face, the spirit, the soul and the economic vitality of our country will thrive. 

    Inspired by, with excerpts from, a presentation by retired Senator Tommy Banks. 

© Arts & Culture Council of Strathcona County

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