By AUDRIE FORD
The city of Tucson unveiled five murals made to discourage graffiti and tagging in the downtown area during a ceremony on Feb. 5.
The Environmental Services Department, along with Tucson Arts Brigade, created a competition that whittled 44 entries down to five winning designs that were painted on refuse containers.
Artists Johanna Hand, Sasha Lewis, Niki Glen, Porter McDonald and Ruben Moreno decorated the dumpsters with their unique designs after being selected by the Arts Brigade and the city.
The city provided $5,000 in funding for the pilot program, which was matched by the Graffiti Resource Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit vandalism prevention organization.
“The city spends probably $150-$200 to repair a dumpster that has been damaged by graffiti, and we’ve found that artwork like this helps deter taggers,” said Cristina Polsgrove, the Environmental Services Department information officer.
The five dumpsters will be on display at businesses across Tucson. If successful, the program hopes to expand in the future.