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SAN ANTONIO -- There s currently a proposed bill in Austin that, if passed, would toughen penalties for people caught spraying graffiti on public property.

One San Antonian is speaking out and letting people who actually appreciate graffiti know that there s an alternative.

Down at the Black Note Galleria in Leon Valley, an empty wall is actually a canvass.

We host exhibits here where people come in, network, congregate and create, said Galleria founder Anthony Martinez. This whole place is open for artwork to create.

Martinez opened the Galleria in April. Knowing Graffiti is against the law, he said it s an alternative to getting caught red-handed.

The main focus on this is to get people from tagging up the streets and being able to come here and release their energy in a way that will be showcased, Martinez said.

Martinez claims there s a common misconception between graffiti art and tagging. While he wants the public to know the difference, he understands why many don t understand.

There s a lot of tagging, there s a lot of kids that don t understand the culture to the fullest, Martinez said.

However, with word of mouth, the Galleria continues to grow as a hot spot for Graffiti artists and is keeping more people off the street.

One of my main employees, he had a case for doing graffiti out in the streets, and this place has saved him, Martinez said. His name is John. He comes here every day. He communicates with people on the streets and brings them here.

Black Note Galleria does more than just graffiti art. Visit the Black Note Galleria Facebook page for more information.

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