Artist behind 2021 graffiti spree set to host proper art show
The artwork of Windsor, Ont. resident Kalvin Mercier will be on display and on sale at the Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre in Sandwich town – but a year-and-a-half ago, it could be seen in some unexpected places.
In the fall of 2021, Mercier was hit with numerous mischief charges after he said he went on a two-month “tagging spree.” Mercier spray-painted doodles of a character he said he created with the name “Kurs” accompanying it.
“I had this mindset where I thought I could create this character and put it everywhere, where it [would] get noticed or recognized and have some sort of buzz around it,” said Mercier.
He admitted he broke some rules of graffiti etiquette by including spots like churches, heritage buildings, and homes on his spree. Even tagging the front door of someone’s house.
“I regret the spots that I hit,” said Mercier. “That was definitely rude and inconsiderate. I was not really thinking about how that other person would feel about the property. But like I said I wanted the exposure.”
In the lead up to Mercier’s art show, his co-curator arranged for him to meet with Shane Potvin, Chair of the Ford City BIA.
That area bore the brunt of much of Mercier’s “Kurs” campaign, and Potvin said he’d be willing to forgive him, but there are many in the community who probably aren’t.
Graffiti done by Kalvin Mercier in the fall of 2021. (Source: Mike Osborne)
“I think he has a journey ahead of him,” said Potvin. “Time does heal wounds, but then action heals the rest.”
Potvin, an artist himself, said he came across Mercier’s art at a show late last year.
He said he actually quite liked it, which added salt to the wound of the graffiti spread through town.
"Why didn't we get this, when you're actually quite good?” he asked.
Potvin said he’ll check out Mercier’s show this weekend.
A show will be held Friday from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. with DJ performances, and then on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
“I want the right people to show up and appreciate it and look at me as an artist,” Mercier said.
20 per cent of the proceeds from all art sold will be donated to causes that might also help in Mercier’s efforts to make amends, 10 per cent to Drouillard Place and 10 per cent to House of Hope.
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