As far back as early 1900, the 17th Street TRX Trestle, known simply as The Graffiti Bridge has been a Pensacola Landmark. One of the most amazing aspects of the bridge is that the artwork changes almost daily. It’s hardly ever constant, and at least one person can be spotted tagging the bridge each night.
“The Graffiti Bridge serves as an ad hoc platform for community self-expression. It is a stage to express political views, a billboard to inform of upcoming events, and a canvas for street artists,” Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward III said in a statement to First City Art Center, which hosted an exhibition of photos in April 2015.
The Graffiti Bridge of Pensacola is an ever morphing testament to changing times. As the face of the bridge reflects the many faces, thoughts, and feelings of today's Pensacolians.
The 17th street CSX Railroad Trestle in Pensacola Florida is the only place in Pensacola that is exempt from the “Defacement of public property,” statute designed to protect the city’s public property. This exemption has turned the Graffiti Bridge into a local landmark, which has been used as a very effective spot to promote local events and raise awareness for Pensacola’s Non-Profits. (http://www.ci.pensacola.fl.us/416/Code-of-Ordinances)
“Spray painting the bridge has been a Pensacola institution for decades, a pastime so prevalent, a provision was added to exempt the trestle from city vandalism ordinances. The bridge has since become a community bulletin board, a venue for art and expression that anyone can contribute to, for good or not-so-good.” Says an article in the Pensacola News Journal, as of April 6.
If you or your organization would like to take a stab at Painting the bridge, here are few helpful hints as to how to organize and make your mark as a budding graffiti artist.
What you will need:
As with any project, the first thing you need are the right supplies. Here are some of the basics:
1) At least 5 to 10 gallons of paint. Depending on how much coverage you want for the base coat.
2) Rust-Olium High Performance, 25% more spray cans. They spray better and dry quicker than others. Can be found at both Wal-Mart and Home Depot.
3) Multiple Paint Trays to paint different parts of the bridge.
4) Multiple Rollers and Brushes. At least one per tray, but more depending on how many people you have.
5) At least one extension handle to paint the top of the bridge.
6) At least a Gallon of water to clean supplies.
7) Rubber gloves to keep paint off your hands.
8) Five Gallon Bucket for used brushes and rollers.
9) Trash Bags
10) Optional, Drinks or water in a cooler.
11) A blueprint and layout of what you want to paint that day.
12) A social media plan such as a Hashtag, and someone to do the page.
13) Optional: A tent canopy and folding chairs. It gets hot out there, and
can take some time depending on the project.
a) Don’t use the boat parking lot.
b) Wear good, sturdy shoes, and old clothes since paint gets everywhere
c) Where sunglasses, hat, and bring LOTS of sunscreens.
d) Early Sunday Morning is the best time to painte) While it’s easier to paint in the late evening, it is also harder to shoot pictures and video of your project.
The friendly staff here at The Graffiti Bridge hope you find this information useful. You are welcome to tag #TheGraffitiBridge with your personal message. If you do decide to use The Graffiti Bridge to spread your message, let us know, and we would be happy to schedule a time. We may also be able to live stream the painting on Facebook and possibly promote your message over our vast number of social media platforms.
And, if your concept is a little more complex, or if you need assistance with a concept design for your message, The Graffiti Bridge has some of the most talented artists on staff standing by to assist you promoting your important message.