Public Art Indicted


How does a small town or a nation divided find some middle ground? Can public art or a film make a difference? This film will explore these and other questions using the backdrop of a mural in a small mountain community in Northern Arizona that ignited a nation-wide controversy.

As Americans and global citizens, we have come to value freedom of speech. Yet that freedom of speech has been auctioned to the highest bidder in our public spaces where billboards and advertisements bombard us constantly influencing us and shaping our culture on the most subtle levels. Public art is a rare exception to this rule. Freedom of speech has belonged to those with the financial or political clout to utilize media to sway opinion in their favor until the emergence of independent media. The democratization of media has leveled the playing field and this film sheds light on the power of public art to do the same.

Up Against The Wall, Public Art Indicted gives voice to all sides in the controversy surrounding the mural(s) in Prescott, Arizona and that is the point of public art. Love it or hate it, you are welcome to voice your opinion. When was the last time a multinational corporation asked your opinion about the billboards that you are forced to look at everywhere you go?

Controversy sells media and media may create controversy for the sake of profit without regard to the effects of a polarized society and community. This film is going to take the conversation deeper and restore a sense of respectful civil discourse on issues that affect us all. It isn’t about “winner takes all” or loser is thoroughly humiliated and ridiculed, it is about developing an attitude that allows for all perspectives whether you choose to adopt them as your own or not.

Our country was founded on the principles of civil discourse and Democracy can not thrive without it, but sensationalized media and divisive politics have left us a country divided. The controversy in Arizona is not unique, it is emblematic of the divide in our country and all over our planet. If we want to bridge that divide we will have to start learning to look at problems differently, we will have to evolve our minds to embrace the complexities of our modern world.

Art for the sake of community enrichment is quite different than art used for personal gain or art used to sell a product or brand. It is time for us to look towards art and the artists, to the questions they raise and to reflections they give us to ponder. It is no longer easy to keep agendas hidden in this world and that is why you now know the intentions behind this film.

Culture Collective is a non-profit independent production company and we will need support from the greater community to make this film all that it can be. If you believe in any of the principles or ideas above, please visit our donate page to make a tax-deductible donation and be part of the success we are creating! If you have an opinion to express, visit our “Get Interviewed” page and fill out the form.

Thank You,
Up Against The Wall

“the people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff…” -Banksy