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Fratton Park Leads the Way in Street Art

Author: Oli Poole Published: 4th April 2011 12:19

 Fratton Park will soon become the first stadium in the world to be painted inside and out by street artists.

Mark Lewis, lead artist at  The Art and Soul Traders, has been involved in painting the outside of Fratton Park since 2003 and hopes to complete the inside murals by the start of the new season.

Since the project started, artists from as far as Australia have travelled to make their mark.

Mr Lewis said: ‘The area has been named a ‘hall of fame,' which means that artists can come and paint legally, without being arrested.'

 ‘Graffiti has a lot of negative connotations so we prefer to call it street art.'

‘The subject of illegal graffiti comes up in the national newspapers all the time but at the end of the day the world's most famous artist is probably Banksy and he's a graffiti artist.'

Workshops have been regularly run with local schools, the club's own Pompey Study Centre and Portsmouth University students have helped with project management. Mr Lewis said:

‘The kids we work with know the difference between writing a rude word on the wall illegally and what we do.'

A three day ‘graffiti jam' will be held at the end of June, where painting of the outside will continue with help from local and international artists.

A fundraising event at Fratton Park on 16th April, from 7.30pm-1am has been set up cover the costs and will include music from local bands and a charity auction with merchandise donated by Portsmouth FC.

By Oli Poole

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