Fresno muralist has no hard feelings after beloved mural is painted over

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Whether they're paying tribute to the past, or foreshadowing a buzzworthy future, Fresno is home to dozens of murals that tell stories of a diverse and vibrant culture.

Like the 16 feet by 20 feet mural that decorated the Landmark restaurant for more than a decade.

"I really wanted to capture the energy in Tower District," said muralist Josh Wigger. "I wanted to capture music art color something vibrant something apart from Fresno beige."

Wigger says it took almost two weeks to paint, but it took just a day to cover, and not without backlash.

The owner of the Tower District's newest bar addressed complaints on Facebook.

TJ Bruce told Action News by phone he not only reached out to Josh prior to covering up the mural, but he's also open to having him do another piece on their wall.
"It was just time for a revamp the wall was falling apart degradation. I kinda like it now," Wigger said.

You can find Josh's work throughout the city, but he says the funding for art in Fresno is challenging to get.

"It's like it's not needed even though the city uses the arts especially downtown as a platform," he said.

The executive director of the Fresno Arts Council, Lilia Chavez, says there are no municipal or county funds to support art in the city.

That's why the Arts Council is needed.
"Our job is really to help artists do what their vision is," Chavez said.

As the local partner to the California Arts Council, the Fresno Arts Council helps connect local artists and organizations with projects and private or public funding.

With blank canvases, popping up throughout the city, local artists are hoping more can be done.

"Maybe this is a call to arms to get more murals in Tower District, (to) get people involved," Wigger said.
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