James Prigoff and Others at Commonwealth Club 8/16

Urban Scrawl or Artistic Freedom?

PEX, Street Artist
BEN MORGAN, Director, Quality of Life (Graffiti Film)
MACHAELA M. HOCTOR, Deputy City Attorney, San Francisco City Attorney's Office
MOHAMMED NURU, Chair, San Francisco's Graffiti Advisory Board
JONATHON KEATS, Art and Culture Critic; Visual Arts Critic, San Francisco Magazine - Moderator

From its contemporary origins in the late 1960s, graffiti has spread globally, from the city and boroughs of New York to walls around the world. Some see the proliferation of graffiti as a veritable modern plague, an urban blight that clearly diminishes quality of life. Others would argue that today's graffiti is a historically significant art form, providing a unique means of creative expression to the disenfranchised and marginalized. Are the words of the prophets truly written on subway walls and tenement halls, or is graffiti nothing more than mindless vandalism that is directly linked to a host of societal ills? You be the judge.

The evening's discussion opens with a slide show presentation by Jim Prigoff, an internationally known historian and documenter of murals and spraycan art. Jim's personally photographed documentation is considered the largest of its kind and it is said that he has seen more street art than any other individual.

6:30 p.m., Program
7:30 p.m., Wine & hors d'oeuvres reception
Club office, 595 Market St., 2nd floor, San Francisco
$12 for Members, $20 for Non-members, $7 for Students (with valid I.D.; to reserve student tickets call 415-597-6705)
Commonwealth Club