Oakland muralist Cannon Dill—an artist who has painted pen-and-ink
style graffiti on walls in Chicago, Kansas City and New Orleans—was told to
paint over his work by Portland police Monday, Aug. 12.
Tiffany Conklin, co-director of Portland Street Art Alliance and the blogger at PDX Street Art who broke the story, says Cannon is not the first out-of-town graffiti artist to have a run-in with Portland Police Bureau.
“He did not know about the mural permits that Portland requires,” Conklin says. “In most cities, you just need permission from the building owner.”
Cannon had permission from the owners
of both buildings he painted, but did not file a mural permit with the city.
(The other mural was painted over sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday this
week.) Conklin says getting a permit takes a long time and is not advertised well
enough to outside artists.
The mural permitting process includes submitting three full-sized copies of the site plan drawn to scale and hosting a neighborhood meeting, which must be advertised 21 days beforehand at the site of the proposed mural.
Hunter Shobe, a Portland State University professor who studies street art, says he wasn’t too surprised when he heard about the Cannon Dill incident. He says Portlanders need to have a dialogue about what people want the streets of Portland to look like.
“There’s got to be a way of finding
common ground,” Shobe says.
UPDATE: Cannon Dill posted a picture of his work buffed (painted over) on his Statigram account. He wrote in the caption, "Portland would rather want this." He also named the Graffiti Task Force officer who enforced the mural permitting ordinance adding, "If you guys have some spare time y'all should complain or something."