Artist Mark Panzarino Exonerated on Charges Related to Chalking the Grounds of Union Square

Posted on: July 2nd, 2014 at 9:19 am by

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Tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon

Mid-May. Just a week after neighbors took to the streets to inscribe memories for Lower East Side History Month, an artist who creates sidewalk art with chalk was arrested for same. Mark Panzarino had been chalking images in his stomping grounds of Union Square when cops cuffed him.

He was swiftly charged with creating graffiti and criminal mischief. For a disappearing art form, no less. When asked why (Panzarino frequently chalks the area), officers who made the collar reportedly stated the technicality that had he been “using ‘sidewalk’ chalk instead of soft ‘pastel’ chalk, it would not have been illegal.”

Anyway. Two months on (i.e. now), Panzarino finally had his day in court. He described the encounter to us in an email:

After realizing they did not have a strong case, the District Attorney asked the judge to dismiss all charges against me.  The charges were dropped and the file was sealed!

The whole experience has been incredibly stressful, and I’ll be working on new ideas for another series based on these events.  I can’t wait to get back to the “Louis Vuitton is Dead” series, in the park, this Thursday. 

It’s worth noting that Panzarino often chalks the grounds of Union Square, most recently with tributes to the victims of Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon.

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