Controversial Mural Still Standing in the Tower District

FRESNO, Calif. First this mural stirred up controversy for some of its images, the night before last someone threw blue paint on it and Friday the church that sanctioned the art decided to cover it up.

That decision was halted, now the church wants to have an open discussion with neighbors about what this painting signifies.

Seven artists. Two weeks work. This is the final product, a mural depicting financial and economic woes in Fresno and the Valley.

The mural is sponsored by the Well Community Church.

But beauty was not in the eye of every beholder. The church says several residents complained, so to avoid controversy the church decided to cover up the mural; that was Friday.

Saturday the church had a change of heart.

Pastor Tim Goetz, The Well Community Church said: "What we would like to do is work with our neighbors so as not to alienate them but to work with them, to hear what some of their concerns are and then work with these artists.

Despite Friday's decision to cover the mural, artists worked into the evening to finish it.

Ramiro Martinez, artist said: "The deeper into the night we started getting sadder about it getting buffed out. So we started changing it and doing whatever expressive things we could do to it."

Some of those changes came to this woman who represents mother nature.Her mouth is covered now but angered residents thought it looked like she was throwing up.

Ramiro Martinez, artist said: "I thought well, you can shut a person's mouth but you can't stop them from feeling, so I moved the pipeline to her heart."

Others have criticized the naked baby on top of fruits and vegetables but these artists defend their work and invite the debate.

Dominique Ovalle, artist said: "That's what this is about. It's about finding that creativity that you need to survive and that's what we're doing here in Fresno."

The church said it has spoken with residents who live near this painting to help them understand the meaning.

The artists said they will continue to work on the mural and work with the church to adjust other images.

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