Overpass Needs Art

The paper lion pasted to one of the walls of the pedestrian overpass along Maguire Street.

Street art is certainly not a new phenomenon, but its popularity is on the rise with the commercialization of famous artists like Banksy and Shepard Fairey.

And I’ve been a fan of graffiti art since high school when we crawled around Brush Creek in Kansas City, guzzling Cisco and Night Train checking for new tag art.

So, my head swiveled today as I drove through the pedestrian overpass on Maguire Street and saw the large black and white paper lion pasted to one of the concrete walls. The image was a vivid contrast to the barren walls.

And I thought, yeah, why not? These walls are begging for art.

Granted, making art on public property isn’t legal. It’s vandalism – which for many people adds to the allure of street art.

Stupid tag art on a wall of the overpass.

But there’s good street art and there’s terrible scribblings of idiots. All you have to do is travel a few yards past the paper lion along the same wall to see some real crappy tag art – a stupid anarchy symbol with a crown (or flame?) on top.

The lion at least has more artistic appeal. By mid-afternoon, the paper dangled in the breeze and appeared to be on its way out. Those walls need some permanent public art.

The city recently assumed control of Maguire Street and commissioned a study to draft a vision for the future look of this major corridor through town. The final plan is not yet complete, but it appears that public art on the walls of the overpass aren’t included.

That’s fine, it’s not too late. Maybe this is a shout out to the Warrensburg Arts Commission – the walls of the overpass are screaming for art.

Coincidentally, today I received a draft agreement between the city and the university for a University of Central Missouri sign to be placed on both sides of the pedestrian walkway facing Maguire Street.

What a perfect time to start talking about public art in the same area.

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