Resident hopes to turn graffiti vandals into artists - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Resident hopes to turn graffiti vandals into artists

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Graffiti in Hannibal Graffiti in Hannibal
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Residents in Hannibal Residents in Hannibal
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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

A Hannibal resident has a new proposal on how to deal with the city's graffiti problem, fighting art with art.

"There's talent everywhere and Hannibal's got a lot," Joseph Mark McManus, Hannibal resident, said. "They just have to find a way that they can use it in a positive way."

The plan is to find people spraying graffiti or tagging and use their skills, with the help of art teachers, to create murals throughout the city. 

"It would take them off of the streets," McManus said. "It may not pull all of them off the streets, but maybe a third, but give them something to do. Give them something positive. For all the young kids, that's pretty much what they need."

He hopes to bring local business owners on board, something they said they would be in support of as long as there's some control with it.

"I'm not opposed to it at all in Hannibal," Joe Anderson, Executive Director at Bluff City Theater said. "We own several buildings in downtown. We would look at doing it on some of our buildings, but I think the most important thing is that it needs to have some structure to it."

McManus said he wants to give youth an outlet to make an impact in the community. 

"This can be a positive thing. It can be a positive," McManus said. "These people will be doing it and having fun and won't have to sneak and do it at whatever time in the morning, or have to run and hide because they've done it."

The long term goal is for all the murals to beautify the area and help attract tourists into the city. 

"I think like a lot of ideas it's a good idea, but I think it needs to be researched a little more," Anderson said. "There are a lot of communities that have tackled this and I think we can learn from them if we reach out to them and learn what the positives and negatives are."

If you are interested in being an artist, you can contact Joseph McManus at 573-629-7469

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