“Off the Wall Graffiti” Makes Documentary

by Tashina Stillmaker

Maura McCarthy is attempting a feat that has never been done before. She hopes to bring light to an often discriminated art form by documenting artists from across the country for a new documentary and social media movement that only continues to pick up recognition and steam.

The project, called the This or That Documentary Tour, is being created by the Off The Wall Graffiti Foundation,  and focuses on bringing light and recognition to graffiti style as a legitimate art form that deserves attention.

McCarthy and her team are traveling the country to ask these artists why they are artists and why they continue to create art. A major focus of the piece centers on whether or not these artists have been told ‘no’ in the past. If they weren’t artists, what would they be? It is either art (this) or that.

Caila McCarthy (Maura’s daughter) had a lot to say about the project and has had a lot of personal involvement in the project as well, “The project stemmed from some of my high school friends who were graffiti artists,” she said.

She went on to explain that most of the graffiti artists she has known and that have been discovered through the filming process have felt the negative backlash from society and haven’t had their work taken seriously.

“They are often thought of as dirty criminal kids, when actually some of them can be Catholic school boys,” she said.

Stereotypes such as that is what pushed McCarthy and inspired this dream to become an actualized project. Even though the project is primarily made up of graffiti artists, many other types and styles of art are also warmly welcomed and no one is turned away from their interest in expressing their story or helping.

Throughout the process, there have been inspirational stories, volunteer work that has impacted communities, and a drive to encourage artists to be their very best.  “The artists push each other to be better,” stated Caila, “and with competition you only get better”.

The fire and involvement in the project has global interest with artists from Africa, Chile, and South America becoming active and involved. A college fund has been established for artists funded entirely through the contributed art and sales of other artists who have become involved as well.

The documentary is currently filming and is searching for new stories and art to become a part of the fold.  Off The Wall Graffiti can be found on most major social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and MySpace; or at offthewallgraffiti.com .

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