Artwork in Special Delivery’s art show which drew an estimated 5,000 people to west Berkeley on Sept. 8. Photo: dyannaanfang

The organizer of an underground graffiti show that attracted thousands of people to west Berkeley on Sept. 8 has helped ensure that tagging that appeared on many neighborhood buildings after the exhibition has been covered over.

The Special Delivery Bay Area 2012 event, which was orchestrated by Endless Canvas, saw dozens of street artists blanket the interior of the Carbon Warehouse in the former Flint Ink building at 1350 Fourth Street with graffiti and spray-painted artworks. Its organizer, who declines to reveal his name, told Berkeleyside that, once it was apparent that tagging had been done after the show, he personally walked the neighborhood cleaning it up, along with “a large group of muralists who were featured in the exhibit who volunteered on their own accord to buff out the amateur tagging around the neighborhood.”

“Five thousand people showed up from across the country with their families … to view the Special Delivery 2012 mural exhibit,” he said via email. “There wasn’t a single fight, no one got injured, and out of hundreds of graffiti artists who came to respectfully view the artwork only a few young kids who don’t understand the ethics of the culture caught tags.”

The graffiti documented by Berkeleyside on many walls around the 1300 blocks of Fourth and Fifth streets on September 9 was no longer visible on Sept. 17.

The Endless Canvas organizer added that the organization is offering to create murals for local businesses. “We stress that we support art and beautification of the community. Beyond removing the tagging from the neighbors (much of which existed before our exhibit) we are offering to organize community murals for any business interested.”

The organizer did not respond to further questions about whether the group had asked Special Delivery artists and guests to respect the neighborhood ahead of the event. Neither did he say whether anyone had taken them up on the mural offer.

The Special Delivery show will be open to the public on Sunday Sept. 23 and Sunday Sept. 30 from noon to 6:00pm. Alcohol and bags are prohibited; cameras are allowed, and donations are welcome. For details, including the names of the artists involved, visit the Special Delivery website.

Berkeley buildings defaced after underground graffiti event [09.10.12]

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...