A firestorm kicked up this weekend after the company posterGIANT apparently papered over huge original murals by Seattle artists in Pioneer Square with an "Honor the Treaties" poster campaign, as reported by street artist/writer Xavier Lopez Jr. on his P-I.com blog. We wrote about it in this week's Sources Say column.
Some artists have responded in protest, others by encouraging an overall boycott of posterGIANT.
Lopez Jr. writes:
Oddly, the 11×17 posters which are for an important Native American campaign entitled “Honor the Treaties” and which use the artwork of Ernesto Yerena –almost seemed to have been chosen to deflect any kind of criticism that could be engendered by the act of vandalizing local artists’ work. It didn’t work. People’s negative reaction has nothing to do with what is on the posters or who they are for! This is not at all about the content of the images that have been put up, but rather about the act of covering artwork, itself.
What we have here is socially and culturally, historically marginalized and mute groups being pitted, unfairly against each other–with one major group being hurt the worst–local artists–whose artwork is now gone, covered-up beyond recuperation.
A spokeswoman for the company called the incident "a mistake and not a company directive," and promised to restore the murals to their original condition.
A restoration is underway, as seen in photographs on P-I.com.
But the larger question is: Is posterGIANT a good actor in the local arts community? Is posterGIANT bad for the arts? Neutral? What is your experience with posterGIANT?
If you would like to weigh in, please leave your opinions in the comments. Try to be specific and to give direct testimony (avoid hearsay), and use your name, if you can.
UPDATE: Somebody wrote to tell me that posterGIANT's spokeswoman, Barbara Mitchell, is a contributor for The Stranger. I had no idea, otherwise I'd have disclosed. Thank you, W.