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The “Legal [Graffiti] Wall” (Rochester Blog)

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Legal [Graffiti] Wall in Rochester

The Legal Wall & Rochester’s Artistic Heritage

The Legal WallFor as long as I can remember, the Rochester area has always had a rich artistic community, from its arts festivals to fundraising projects like the horse statues representing various businesses throughout the area. There are also several artistic areas in the city as well that are dedicated to celebrating the arts.

The Village Gate is a small mall in the city that houses a large variety of unique businesses. Comic books, toys, records and CDs, and books are all sold in the Village Gate – generally items that are appreciated by those with an artistic taste. A large mural also covers one side, depicting various aspects of Rochester culture.

Known as “The Legal Wall,” artists were given permission to mark the wall as they saw fit. The result is a gorgeous set of walls that change constantly as artists draw, paint, and create all sorts of amazing works of art, working over older pieces to make room for new ones. Artists of all ages, not just teenagers, worked over this wall and would often videotape themselves working, as it is indeed a very unique canvas.

The Legal WallUnfortunately, these artistic endeavors have recently been halted by the landlords. While they had originally sanctioned the spot to give teenagers a place to express themselves without breaking the law, a few alleged break ins at local businesses and graffiti extending beyond the set limits caused the area to be closed.

It is still legal to visit the area and enjoy the gorgeous artwork, making it a popular destination for art lovers living in and visiting the area. And despite the fact that the area is no longer publicly markable, artists still keep the area an ever-changing canvas.

James Hallahan is a Contributor to The Free George.

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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