Mural Controversy in Fresno's Tower District

October 23, 2009 7:33:47 PM PDT
Vandals struck a controversial Tower District mural that is pitting neighbors against neighbors. Artists are still working on the mural located on a thrift store wall at the corner of Olive and Wilson. Some call it art. Others say the designs are evil.A neighbor discovered the vandalism this morning. About eight artists are working on this artwork which has no name at this point, but it is supposed to embody nature. A debate is now raging here whether this is art or an eyesore.

Bright blue paint splatters mark where vandals struck. Someone filled this bag with blue paint and threw it against the wall.

We found three of the artists reacting to the vandalism and discussing how to move forward. Michael Howe is one of the artists. Howe said, "We believe in living art. We believe art is now. This is just another layer that someone threw on it. Paint is forgiving. Some people aren't. That's ok."

Several murals dot buildings in the Tower District, but only this one was hit overnight.

Renee Munguia a neighborhood resident described the mural as: "Eerie, kinda dark, something evil about it I guess." Those feelings are shared by Sharon Walsh who said, "It's just gruesome. It's freaky looking. It just doesn't belong in this neighborhood ... but most of the homeowners the ones who have been here along time, we don't like it. It's not our kind of neighborhood mural."

The artists picked up their brushes this afternoon. They want to complete the mural regardless of the feelings up and down the neighborhood.

We checked with the City Council Member Blong Xiong. He says the artists are not violating any city ordnance. Xiong called the mural public art. A Fresno Police Department spokesperson said they are not working on this case.



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