Denver graffiti artists reflect on Art Alley's past acts of vandalism

Casey Kawaguchi spray paints a mural in Art Alley in Rapid City. (KEVN)

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Art Alley is known for giving artists a space to unleash their creativity. But a week ago, a woman's breast cancer awareness mural getting vandalized in Art Alley.

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While police are still working to identify the most recent vandal, two new high profile graffiti artists are stopping by to help revive Art Alley.

Casey Kawaguchi and Tuke over the years have seen the growing acceptance of graffiti as art.

"This work that is a representation for the community. What is it representing. That's why I think it's important," Kawaguchi said.

Both artists say people who attack graffiti need to understand the outlet it provides many people, especially the youth.

"It's just something that people in general bond to. Just to have that affirmation as far as people showing up and telling these guys about their life and sharing stories. It's cool," Derek Smith, Dahl Arts Center Community Engagement Coordinator, said.

When it comes to vandalizing someone else's art, the artists said there is a code of ethics people should respect.

Though Tuke doesn't support ruining another person's masterpiece, he said when it's in a public space there is always a possibility of it being tampered by someone.

"And while it is unfortunate and that sort of vandalism of people's art happens. It's also something to keep in mind. Know when you are approaching that public space that you need to keep sort of those considerations in mind and not do something offensive or whatever," Tuke said.

Tuke said keeping a healthy rapport with the community is why he believes most of his artwork lasts long. As dozens of spectators passed by, he noticed Rapid City's Art Alley has developed a strong respectful bond too.