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Graffiti Hallway THE SECRET HISTORY THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE GRAFFITIHALLWAY:

Before the Graffiti Hall on the campus of UAF wasborn it was an ordinary hallway in the Fine Arts Complex, built in 1973. Originally it lednot only to the basement of the theatre, but also to a short tunnel that connected to theold Taku stairs. This tunnel allowed people to walk directly to the stairs without crossingthe street. The tunnel was closed off after melting permafrostrendered the ceiling structurally unstable.

During the 1970's an art student whowas a theatre minor painted the walls of the Hallway with two murals, one on either sideof the hall. The small one on the South wall represented the "house" and stageapron of the Fine Arts Theatre (now renamed the Lee Salisbury Theatre) as seen from thestage.

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On the North wall was a largermural, depicting the stage as seen from the apron. [Click figure for larger view.]

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I (Tara Maginnis) photographed these murals when Ifirst came to UAF in 1988-89 as a temporary visiting professor. In the following year[1989-90] the murals were vandalized, and so director Tom Riccio painted over them inblack paint when he and Anatoly Antohin were spending a weekend turning the Green Roomclassroom space into a black box theatre.

The Hallway was not altered for sometime after that, then in 1990-91 bits of pointless and profane graffiti began to appear.Annoyed with the look of this, in fal of 1991 I set my costume design class out in the hall one day withcolored chalks, and requested they decorate the hall with art. This got the ball rolling,and after leaving colored chalk out for the public, the hall began to be a place forartistic and poetic graffiti.

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By 1992 the Hall had every bit ofit's surface covered with chalk. The Student Drama Association decided to sponsor themaking of a Rock video in the Hall. In it, dancers in black unitards with graffiti onthem, danced in the Hall until a funky looking cleaning lady chased them away and washeddown the graffiti. At the end of filming, SDA painted the Hall black, and the graffitiprocess began again. SDA painted the Hall black a few more times, once the wallsgot so full there is no more room for more graffiti. Around 1999 the theatre got a loadof free colored paints from the closing of the JC Penney store, and painted thehall with multicolored graffiti.

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If you are in need of puttinggraffiti on a wall at UAF, please do it here, in the interest of keeping the rest ofcampus free of the stuff. Use chalk or non toxic paints, not spray paint, since theair system in the building will keep re-circulating airborne paint vapors and makeeveryone (the theatre costume shop staff especially) sick. Also, try to put up statements that aretruly profound, or funny or odd. Do artwork, don't just make a mess. You will thereforefind your work admired by all, and may someday find it online here in a future episode of"The Secret History of the Graffiti Hall"......

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Tara in 1989 in the Hall

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Tara's

Makeup ClassPoses in the Hall

"The Costumer's Manifesto"
by Tara Maginnis