Aerosol Art Searching for Canvas - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Aerosol Art Searching for Canvas

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BILLINGS -
Tyson Middle, co-owner of Underground Culture Krew, is doing his best to spread an art movement in the Magic City.

Middle is an aerosol artist, and his store sells various kinds of paint and materials for graffiti artists.

"Just started out with me wanting to be my own boss," he said. "And being interested in things that weren't offered in Billings."

He says aerosol art is growing in popularity, but it's very difficult to find a permanent canvas to paint on.

"There's definitely nowhere in Billings you can go legally -- that's for sure," Middle said. "There's a lot of kids out there that want to paint, that want to progress, that want to expand their skills and their knowledge of the can."

Middle hopes to find a space for a free paint wall, where people of all ages can practice the art. He also says that more murals would be a great thing for the city, as murals can cover up unwanted graffiti, and discourage unwanted tagging.

"Many times when we've done a mural over gang tags, or anything else that's out there on people's houses or buildings -- when we put a mural up people are pretty respectful," he added.

A few months ago, Middle and some friends painted a mural at the YMCA for a campaign called "Why the Y?" Billings Family YMCA CEO Tina Postel said there's been loads of positive feedback.

"We've actually loved it so much that we're considering doing another mural above the aquatic center above the deep pool," she said. "It's just another big blank space, and we want to make it more colorful and fun."

Middle and his friends have done a few murals around town, but usually, they paint on plastic wrap strung between trees. They have permission to paint in parks, where he helps people learn how to tag, but the art has to be taken down.

"Eventually, someday, I would like to have a couple of spots throughout the town," he said of future free wall locations. "But if it needs to start somewhere, it needs to be downtown."
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