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Mural on 17th and Capp pleases some, peeves others

By Christy Khoshaba, Mission Local

The intersection of 17th and Capp is no pretty sight. It’s littered with empty Cheetos bags, Red Bull cans, Trojan condoms and the occasional heroin needle.

“It’s a bad neighborhood,” says Max Marttila, an instructor and muralist at Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center. “There’s prostitutes walking around all night long.”

And there’s graffiti, too — lots of it. Businesses located at the intersection bear the cost of cleanup. Now, a mural going up on the walls of the art space Engine Works might help deter the graffiti — but it’s not winning the approval of the artists who occupy the space.

“We are people who have to cover [the graffiti] — with our money and time,” says Jennifer Bromme, owner of Werk Statt, a motorcycle repair shop.

Graffiti, says Bromme’s co-worker Ed, is “exactly what the Mission doesn’t need.” He calls tags “visual garbage — there’s no art to it.”

He compares tagging to peeing on the street.

Nearby business Twin Brothers Auto Glass, an auto service shop, deals with the same issue. “The owner has to paint [the graffitied wall] today and tomorrow,” says Hector Galarza, sweeping leaves on the ground.

The walls of Engine Works are hit the hardest in the intersection. Graffiti has become so common that it leaves the artists inside no choice but to cover the tags. “It’s just something that has to get done,” says Engine Works artist Sam Ferguson. “I’ve embraced it as part of the culture.”

Read the complete story at Mission Local.