Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Land of the FREE July 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:28 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Bridge graffiti along Minnesota Highway 28.

DO YOU EVER WONDER—because I do—how, when and why graffiti is spray painted onto bridges, buildings, boxcars and elsewhere?

Do these artists/vandals/rebels/criminals (choose the noun that fits) plot and then sneak, in the cover of darkness, to scrawl their messages and art upon these very public canvases?


Who are these defiers of rules?

Did they scribble with crayons on walls while growing up? Did they doodle in notebooks when they should have been doing homework? Are they reckless and wild or the girl/boy next door accepting a dare?

I’ve never known a graffiti artist, although I’d like to meet the one who block-letter-printed “FREE” on this train overpass along Minnesota State Highway 28 between Morris and Sauke Centre.

I’d ask him/her, “Why did you choose that word, ‘FREE?’”

Have you freed yourself from something? Have you set someone free? Or do you simply appreciate what it means to live in the land of the free?

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


6 Responses to “Land of the FREE”

  1. jackie Says:

    I’m often amazed at the artistic quaility of some grafitti. I wonder if it’s an outlet for them….some grafitti is just beautiful, but then again some isn’t.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    Growing up on the East Side of St. Paul just 3 blocks from the RR tracks, I was always fascinated by boxcar artwork (graffiti was a word I had never heard…it was all ‘art’ to me!). Those are the questions I would like to ask, also!

  3. Hotly Spiced Says:

    Hi Audrey, I’m so sick of these graffiti artists because they do their horrid work on things that don’t belong to them. We have a small investment property on a main road and on the weekend I was driving past only to find the front of the building has been vandalised. We now have to go up there (an hour from home) this weekend to paint over the damage that has been done. It makes me sick. xx

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, that definitely is a problem, especially when graffiti artists tag a building. We had an issue several years ago with gang graffiti painted onto buildings, fences and road signs within our neighborhood. Fortunately they stopped just across the street from our property. Not so good for all our neighbors, though.

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