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Street artists are painting on Los Angeles traffic boxes. Legally.


Street artists are painting on Los Angeles traffic boxes. Legally.

WATCH |  A street artist who calls himself "Teachr" shows us what it's like to legally spray-paint traffic boxes in Los Angeles. 

How it all started

In 2012, Teachr attended a city meeting on new mural ordinances in Los Angeles. At the time, there were a limited number of walls that artists were able to legally paint on. "The Venice Art Walls" at Venice Beach are popular, but they are a little out of the way for many Angelenos. 

The windup and the pitch

After the meeting, Teachr approached a member of the city's zoning commission and made his pitch. He wanted to make it legal for artists to paint the traffic control boxes that sit on nearly every street corner.

It worked. In 2013, city officials began accepting applications to paint on designated traffic boxes. Teachr was one of six artists who received permits at the outset.

So many traffic boxes, so little time

By legalizing artwork on traffic boxes, artists no longer have to risk being on the streets late at night or getting arrested by the police. The city is now working to expand the number of boxes that are allowed to be painted.

It allowed me to have a say, to get some messages out there that other people may see and be influenced from.

Teachr began creating street art following cuts to California's education budget. But having a permit now gives him the flexibility and comfort to express himself artistically where more people can see it.

Teachr: How to cut a stencil - 'Teach Peace Cross'

WATCH | Teachr invented a stencil making process that uses paper and fiberglass window screens. This allows him to create complex paintings with spray paint. In this video he teaches you how to DIY.

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