STU student arrested for making “public art”

    Dusty Green and a friend were arrested for painting on one of these water towers. (Photo by J. Anthony Fitzgerald)

    Dusty Green, president of the university’s Fine Arts Society, was arrested earlier Sunday after painting on two water towers in Odell Park.

    As an artist, you always hope your work will grab peoples’ attention.

    But Green didn’t expect the reaction some of his art got.

    Green and a friend were drawing a tree and a UFO using acrylic paint on the water towers, which are at the Montgomery Street entrance of Odell Park, when the police approached them.

    “A bunch of people walked by and apparently one of them didn’t like it so they called the cops on us. Then we were arrested,” Green said

    The two will be in court on Nov. 9 to face charges of mischief and damage to public property.

    On Sunday night, they were scrubbing the paint off the water towers in an attempt to get rid of the damage to public property charge.

    The bases of the water towers are already covered in graffiti and Green said the two were trying to “put some pretty stuff on them.”

    Many people walked by and told the two that they liked what they were doing, Green said.

    “I think there should probably be a distinction between graffiti and public art,” he said.

    “It’s kind of crummy because this is my first time doing it and then the police showed up and said you shouldn’t make pretty things.”

    Police told the pair they’re having a real problem with graffiti right now and are trying to crack down on it.

    This past summer, the city set up a blank canvas for graffiti writers to legally draw in Henry Park on the Northside.

    Although Green prepared for the risk of getting in trouble, he was disappointed when the police arrested him.

    Green has created public art in the park in the past. Earlier this year, he made a sculpture in the park using stones piled atop one another.

    “Whenever you do public art, you know that there’s a risk that you’re going to get in trouble for it,” he said.

    Fredericton Police didn’t immediately respond to questions about the graffiti.