The original installation of spray cans I placed in the small patch of grass in front of the 337 house began as a simple visual exercise intertwining rough mechanistic forms and bright color in an otherwise organic natural environment. These rough metallic forms were originally installed at different heights, as though they were emerging from the earth and blossoming to explode with vibrant color across the natural landscape. The original intent was to create a visual metaphor for the way art, especially graffiti, adds life and color to our often-bland cityscape as well as enriching our lives.
Within hours of the opening to the show on May 18, much of the installation had been destroyed or altered by human contact. The fence surrounding the exhibit was overlooked, walked over, and eventually torn down; the spray cans were kicked, stepped on, thrown, uprooted, and otherwise manipulated by onlookers and bystanders and litter soon covered the area. By the end of the first weekend of the exhibit, all that was left of the original work were sharp shards of un-identifiable twisted metal, and the installation had to be completely removed.
The intent of those interacting with the exhibit was by no means malicious; these circumstances offer us a chance to see the effect of our actions on a small scale in a very creative way. Much as graffiti does in the urban landscape, and the entire 337 endeavor for that matter, this small installation adds to the ongoing debate over the questions: What is art? Where does it belong? More importantly however, the inadvertent destruction of the installation speaks volumes about the need for our society to evaluate the way we treat our environment and one another. It comments on our need to recognize our surroundings, the emotions we are feeling, and our intentions toward the people and things around us, particularly those people and things which we may find unfamiliar or of little value.
As an artist and one small part of a worldwide community of humanity I encourage you to question the world around you, manipulate it in constructive ways, develop respect for your surroundings, for one another, and for yourself, take life lightly, and to live with love in your heart
I am honored to have been part of this momentous project and incredible community. I would like to thank Adam and Dessi Price, and every artist who worked to create such an unbelievable project for the public to enjoy. I hope that you, the great people, businesses, and city leaders of Salt Lake City will continue your support for the arts, and that the artistic revolution born here at the 337 project will not die with its demolition, but blossom into similar projects and a newartistic community for us all to enjoy.
Murals . Art . Design
The founder of Artists of Utah and editor of its online magazine, 15 Bytes, Shawn Rossiter has undergraduate degrees in English, French and Italian Literature and studied Comparative Literature in graduate school before pursuing a career in art.