Graffiti “park” halted

Last week, we ran an article (“Spray on,” Art of the State, Jan. 18) about a graffiti “park,” a Sparks warehouse with a then-absentee owner and a team of graffiti artists using the facility as a practice and exhibition venue.

But on Jan. 18, Sparks Assistant City Attorney Shirle Eiting reported that artist Rafael Reyes informed the City of Sparks that Ronnie Shemesh of the Kody Jet Corp.—owner of the property at 565 Dermody Way—contacted Reyes to tell him he would be taking back control of the property. All graffiti has ceased, and Graffiti City Art Park has been stopped.

“It’s not abandoned anymore,” said Reyes. “Once he shows up, the [squatting] law goes into crumbles.”

Reyes said that a verbal agreement has been made by Shemesh to return the taxes that were paid by the graffiti artists on the property. He said that when he receives the money, he’s going to reinvest it in a new piece of property to reopen a legal graffiti operation.

“I haven’t given up,” he said. “I’m going to still try to make things happen.” He said he considers the process he’s gone through during the last couple of months market research, indicating that he expects it’s possible to own a legal graffiti park that is successful. He still wants to cater to those artists.

However, according to Reyes, his next venture will not contain the term “park” in the name because of connotations and city regulations associated with the term. He’s considering calling it a graffiti “gallery” instead.