Some businesses in the Mills 50 District in Orlando are responding to a graffiti problem in their own creative way. So-called "permission walls" have been designated where artists can show off their work.
Judy Le says her family's restaurant, Pho Hoa, means the world to her. So when vandals recently tagged the building with graffiti, it was shocking.
"I was more upset, because this is a restaurant that we put our blood, sweat and tears in, and for someone to come in and do that, hurts our feelings more than anything."
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Judy decided to brush it off and come up with a solution that allow people the ability to paint on the restaurant wall establishment with permission. The family contacted an art curator who reached out to graffiti artists. Now, they're no longer worried about being vandalized.
"Someone who understands the art scene won't go and destroy what they did," Judy says.
Different levels of artists are invited to paint on the wall. Judy says the more experienced ones get the front of the building, while the beginners get the back.
"This past week, we've had 10 different artists come to paint on the walls, so it's been real fun, real exciting."
Artists, like Jamie Torraco.
"I think the most fun ones are when little kids come by and they just start yelling, 'I want to draw too.'" said Jamie. "It's been fun. I spent all of last Sunday working on it too."
This permission wall has created a pallet of opportunities.
"It's nice to be able to interact with people and get feedback," says Judy.
Judy adds that two other businesses in the area are also allowing artists to show off their work, and hope more will follow.
"More establishments are wanting to participate in this, just to support the local community," she says. "The fun thing is, we never know what's going to be on the walls of the restaurant. So one day, we'll have this dragon. The next day, we'll have trees or whatever it may be."
People interested in painting on a permission wall should email the restaurant at firstname.lastname@example.org. Artists will be required to email work prior to approval.