Crime Watch 8

Artists deciding whether to repaint defaced BLM mural

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Artists are deciding whether they want to repaint the Black Lives Matter mural after it was defaced on Indiana Avenue.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said white and gray paint was splattered on it sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, about a week after the mural was created.

Artist Rebecca Robinson said she was sad and disappointed when she found out Sunday morning.

“To come down here and for somebody to take two or three minutes to deface it just to make some silly point or whatever that point was, to me and a lot of the group we discussed it and it was pretty coward. If you have a statement to make, let yourself be known, make your statement,” Robinson said.

Robinson said she’s still processing what happened and will decide to possibly retouch her work.

The artist stenciled and painted the letter L in the word ‘BLACK.’ Inside are the words “freedom nation,” Robinson’s own vision of unity.

“Creating this and being able to speak on a message that I have in hopes that we can build towards a new nation, that was very important to me,” Robinson said.

People have been stopping all day to look at the destruction. It took 18 artists two days to create the mural starting August 1.

“We want to feel empowered to use our voice and as an artist; having a visual message is very powerful,” Robinson said.

Indy10 Black Lives Matter released a statement on Facebook:

“Creative activism and advocacy in the public realm unfortunately necessitate that we anticipate moments like this. The main goal of the Indianapolis Black Lives Matter Mural on Indiana Avenue is to amplify the message of the movement. The location was selected to remind patrons of both the historical and the ongoing displacement of Black communities in that area of our city.

“This hateful act demonstrates that we have been effective in that aim.

“The vandalism that occurred is a visual depiction of what hate looks like. The message of our art provokes the evils and cowardice that some still refuse to acknowledge, and the vandalism is but one small confirmation that the fight toward justice and equity is far from over. We are grateful to everyone who has offered to help. What we need and want is legislative change that protects Black lives and holds badged murderers accountable for their actions.

“What we want is to stop being killed for the color of our skin.

“What we need is your voice and your continued cries to end racism and the erasure of Black lives.

“Once again, art is the beautiful backdrop and springboard for our country’s largest and most critical conversations, especially those focused on this movement. Thank you for the support and know that we remain proud to do our part in this fight.”

Statement on Facebook page of Indy10 Black Lives Matter

“Naturally I’m upset that someone threw paint on it, but the irony behind it is it’s still paint and it’s still beautiful all of these are still beautiful,” Robinson said. “You’re not going to change the message. Whatever you tried to do to deface it, look at how beautiful — the work is still shining through.”

News 8 has reached out the the Indianapolis City-County Council for comment but did not receive a response.

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