MEMBERS of City of Swan’s youth arts project, Graffix, completed their final masterpiece with a sprawling mural on Cale Street in Midland recently.
The project was the brainchild of the City’s Community Safety and Lifespan Service Youth Development teams to combat illegal graffiti.
In 2012, the City was successful in getting $144,567 in Federal funding through the Proceeds of Crime Act Graffiti Prevention Reduction program, allowing Graffix to begin.
Since then, Graffix has partnered with 17 schools, as well as businesses and communities to create 22 vibrant murals throughout the City.
Swan Mayor Mick Wainwright said the Graffix project provided a co-ordinated response to graffiti vandalism hot spots in the City and had strong community support.
“The project had a mix of strategies to respond to the immediate issues of graffiti vandalism,” he said.
“This included rapid removal but also responding to the long term underlying causes of graffiti through youth outreach and education.”
The Graffix project was led by artist and youth worker Trevor Bly, who has built strong rapport with at-risk young people involved in the program over the past four years.
Mr Bly helped more than 70 young people design and create vibrant urban art while instilling the values of community pride and respect.
The results of Graffix projects were dramatic, with significant declines in reports of graffiti where murals were painted.
Midland Guildford ward councillor Daniel Parasiliti said the loss of the Graffix Project was unfortunate as it has been an asset to the City.
“During this period, young people were assisted and supported to link in to additional services to address underlying issues in their lives,” he said.
“The Graffix community art pieces not only beautify the neighbourhood but become a catalyst to aid youth mental health and develop an identity.”
The City is investigating alternative funding options for similar projects to help local youths through the creation of urban art.