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Building owner wants artists to bring back murals on alley wall painted over

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some artists are raising concerns after a crew painted over their murals on the side of a building in an alley in the Fountain Square cultural district.

An attorney for the building owner says it was all just a big mistake.

In 2019, the record shop Square Cat Vinyl paid artists to paint the murals with the building owner’s permission. The unpaved alley is in an area bordered by Virginia Avenue, Woodlawn Avenue and Shelby Street.

Now it’s all gone, painted beige.

“I would rather see art in that alley instead of a blank wall that somebody is going to go over and tag 100 times,” said artist Garrett Jett.

Jett said the loss of the artwork is a loss to the community. He says artists already face a lot of challenges in the city. “Just trying to get your name out there is a big thing and to have a space to be able to paint to be able to showcase your art is really hard to find.”

Another artist, Mike Meares, said about the painting-over of the murals, “It doesn’t bring anything in the community to do this.”

Meares spent hours painting his “Space Rockers” door mural in the alley. “I was really proud of it, so to see it gone kind of takes the wind out of you a little bit.”

“I remember while I was working, Maddie Sank climbing up and down the ladder to paint the high mural up there. Just hours and days spent out here doing this work and now, you know,” Meares said.

Meares says a lot of love went into the murals. “The sad part is that it’s never going to be the exact same. So that’s been lost. Hopefully, something rises out of this.”

An attorney said the property owner is hopeful that the murals can be re-created or other works can be put in the alley.

Statement

“An initial miscommunication with the team preserving the alley side of the building resulted in the art, unfortunately, being covered up. The property owner has no objection to the immediate return of Graffiti Alley 2.0. and in addition to the original artists, who are welcome to recreate their art, if the Arts Council or Fountain Square Neighborhood Association would like to select some additional artists to make the alley better than ever — we approve.

“We hope the same groups will join us in our attempts to convince the city to make the alley safer for pedestrian traffic (we’ve been trying to get it paved for years — as have some of the merchants) a paved Graffiti Alley really could be something special.”

Criag Helmreich, attorney for K&S Holdings

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