The debate about whether graffitti is art or vice-versa is a bit tedious, if you don’t mind us saying so. There are certainly instances where some young wastrel’s poorly scrawled tag amounts to little more than a dog lifting his leg on a hydrant. That said, the hideous paint-roller cover-up jobs (usually in brown or Navajo white) perpetrated by anti-grafitti gangs are often atrocities unto themselves.

The images in this slideshow–crude spray paint stencils all–may fall far short of the artistry displayed by someone like, say, Banksy, but they have an intelligent charm of their own. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spy vs. Spy, Joan Crawford, “El Cuchillo,” John McCain–we found them mostly on sidewalks and cement walls on the Colorado College campus, probably created by some co-ed scamps or bookish local vandals for the understated thrill of it.

Looking for them made for a nice afternoon scavenger hunt on the campus. In fact, here’s a cheap date suggestion: Get yourself a black and white malted, take your sweetheart by the arm and see if you can find them all as you stroll through the bucolic, relatively student-free grounds on one of these fine, late-Spring evenings.

Here’s a little shoegazing 8track for the occasion!

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