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Larry Bird mural causing controversy in Fountain Square

Larry Bird mural causing controversy in Fountain Square

Larry Bird mural causing controversy in Fountain Square

UPDATE: The artist has confirmed to WISH-TV that all parties have reached a compromise on the mural.

Muck has agreed to cover up all the tattoos on Bird except for “Indiana” on his forearm.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A mural in Fountain Square is causing controversy.

On Friday the mural of former basketball player Larry Bird was up and gaining momentum on social media.

By Sunday, artist Jules Muck says she received an email from Larry Bird’s team asking her to remove it citing unauthorized promotional value to her brand and to the six trademarks owned by Bird. 

The mural is based off a photograph but shows Bird with a number of tattoos including the word Indiana, a basketball and an image of mating bunnies.

The bunnies are a signature of California based artist Jules Muck.

She says they represent the irony of censoring animals and not the more disturbing images shown in the media. 

Larry Bird’s mural is not the first time this artist has come under fire.

Last year, Muck’s bunny painting at Beholder restaurant on East 10th Street drew mixed reviews and the painting was removed. 

According to Muck, the owner of the multi-family home at the intersection of Prospect and Laurel streets commissioned Muck for a painting.

Muck says as far as she knows, the owner has not been contacted about the mural.

Still, she says she chose the former basketball player for a reason.

“He’s wearing colors that match the building. It felt to me that it was aesthetically perfect. I also felt if I’m going to paint Larry Bird, I’m going to paint Larry Bird in Indianapolis. That being said, I wasn’t trying to make a prestigious fancy piece. I also have fun with my work and I kind of like to make people laugh,” said Jules.

News 8 reached out to an attorney from Bird’s team.

He says the image is not consistent with Bird’s brand, but that he’s working with Muck to modify the mural without affecting her creative right. 

As for Muck, she thinks it’s a great piece and says she never meant to offend anyone. 

Both Muck and Bird’s team hope they can come to a resolution to keep it in Indianapolis. 

If they can’t come to a solution, the mural will most likely be removed.


‘Taste of Hope’ benefits Indiana’s only recovery high school

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hundreds came out to support a local high school while enjoying food Sunday afternoon.

“Taste of Hope” is an event that supports Hope Academy, a public charter high school that helps students recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. It’s the only recovery high school in Indiana.

More than a dozen restaurants were on hand passing out samples.

Organizers said the event is one the school heavily relies on.

“We have a funding gap because we provide so much wrap-around services for our students in recovery and support,” said Rachelle Gardner with Hope Academy. “This helps decrease that gap for us.”

Guests also had the opportunity to tour the school and hear from students and administrators.

School officials hope the event brought more awareness to the issue of addiction.