Some Knoxville residents welcome graffiti, others say it's a 'nu

Some Knoxville residents welcome graffiti, others say it's a 'nuisance'

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With warmer weather here, some Knoxville residents say they're noticing more graffiti near downtown and Old North Knoxville. With warmer weather here, some Knoxville residents say they're noticing more graffiti near downtown and Old North Knoxville.
"People do things in spaces that I think they find unattractive to either improve them or to call out that this space is not being used well," Brannon said. "People do things in spaces that I think they find unattractive to either improve them or to call out that this space is not being used well," Brannon said.
But some property owners say it can cause damage, and costs them time and money to clean it up. But some property owners say it can cause damage, and costs them time and money to clean it up.

By KAYLA STRAYER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With warmer weather here, some Knoxville residents say they're noticing more graffiti near downtown and Old North Knoxville.

Some say it's a vital form of art, but others call it a "nuisance."

Maggie Brannon works downtown at Old City Java. Right next door is an alley covered with art. It's part of the Knoxville Mural Project, which started about a year ago with a goal of enhancing public spaces. 

"People do things in spaces that I think they find unattractive to either improve them or to call out that this space is not being used well," Brannon said.

She thinks the project is working so well, she hopes it expands into other areas of the city.

"Art in public spaces, I'm all for that," Brannon said.

Knoxville musician Jon Worley says he's happy to see more graffiti popping up around the city.

"Graffiti is like spontaneous art. It's like art that comes into existence in a vacuum," Worley said.

But not everyone agrees.

"I don't see it as artwork," said Tony Rando, who works near the intersection of Broadway and North Central Streets.

Rando says graffiti can be a nuisance to business owners.

"It's terrible because they want to make the property look nice and this graffiti is not doing it no justification," Rando said.

But Worley says the graffiti artists he knows are just trying to make public spaces look better.

"Most of the graffiti artists that I know have that unspoken code. They're not going to do anything disrespectful. They're not going to do it in a place where it damages property," Worley said.

But some property owners say it can cause damage, and costs them time and money to clean it up.

Knoxville police say they haven't had any recent reports of graffiti, but they do have a crew that goes out a few times a year to cover it up. They say the next time will likely be in May.

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