Zack Gingrich-Gaylord

Community Business Advancement/ Graffiti commentator

Zack Gingrich-Gaylord is a lifelong listener to public radio in general, and KMUW in particular. He was born and grew up in Wichita, and has lived in Lawrence and Newton.

After working for 15 years in the restaurant industry, he changed career paths and began working for KMUW in corporate support. He enjoys bringing the community of public radio listeners to the broader Wichita community.

Hope that’s good enough. I was raised not to talk about myself. Well, not really. But I heard that line on TV the other day, thought I’d try it out.

Commentary
12:30 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Beautiful City: The 'Street Art' Movement

A stencil work by Banksy
erokism / Flickr / Creative Commons

More than 40 years have passed since the beginning of the modern graffiti movement, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Heightened security in train yards, and technological innovations such as graffiti-proof paints and metals, have moved the scene from subways to the streets. The first writers have either disappeared, or moved their craft from the streets to the art gallery. And an entire generation has grown up in a world that has always had graffiti showing up somewhere in their cities.

Read more
Commentary
12:30 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Beautiful City: Living In The Margins

Credit urbanartcore.eu / Flickr / Creative Commons

Graffiti culture maintains very few alliances with the non-graffiti world. It is, after all, a culture that celebrates the art of being both alienated and alienating.

Still, even graffiti writers need a theme song, and there is no dearth of choices for the perfect graffiti song in hip hop.

Read more
Commentary
12:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Graffiti Removal From Another Angle

Graffiti on the Great Wall of China
tuppaware_001 / Flickr / Creative Commons

China has a graffiti problem.

Or, more specifically, The Great Wall has a graffiti problem.

It’s not really surprising that people have visited the Great Wall for centuries and left their names etched into the bricks—it’s what people do. The Chinese approach to managing this graffiti may be more clever than functional, but it does suggest that we don’t always need buckets of grey paint.

Read more
Commentary
12:30 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Beautiful City: The Hobo Code

Rob Swatski / Flickr / Creative Commons

America has had a fascination with hobos and hobo culture for nearly as long as these folks have been hitching rides on trains.

The myth of the hobo, like so many other myths, is far more romantic than the reality, but the idealization of the hobo as an essential American character is nonetheless solidly entrenched in much of our music, film and art.

Read more
Commentary
12:30 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

The Name Is The Faith Of Graffiti

anarchosyn / Flickr / Creative Commons

The names of graffiti writers are mutant words. Half-verb, half-noun, they distill both language and identity into concentrated archetypes: the trickster, the hero, the villain, the romantic.

Read more
Commentary
12:30 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Writing Your Name Where It Doesn't Belong

RETNA creates a mural in Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas / Flickr / Creative Commons

At its most basic, "tagging" is the act of writing your name on a wall, on a newspaper stand, on a lamp post, or, let’s be honest, anything else that doesn’t belong to you.

The medium doesn’t particularly matter: marker or spray paint will do. In a pinch, and on the right surface, maybe even a ballpoint pen. The point is to put your mark where it wasn’t before, and to put it in a place where other people will see it.

And, like everything else in graffiti, the most important point is to do it with style.

Read more
Commentary
11:19 am
Tue January 21, 2014

The History Of People Writing On Walls

Cave paintings in Lascaux, France
williamcromar / Flickr / Creative Commons

Wichita is relatively new to the graffiti game.

While entire subway lines were being covered from end to end in New York City in the late '70s, the most prevalent graffiti in Wichita was a few band names painted large on the walls of the Canal Route.

Even now, you need a sharp eye to catch most of Wichita's current graffiti-- which, depending on your perspective, may either be disappointing or a reason to celebrate.

Read more