Whoopsies! Non-Profit Group Says Sorry for Covering Up Arts District Mural With Campaign Posters
One way to get your group's message out: Paste up some posters! But better check first you're not getting slap-em-up happy atop a mural made by a group of well-known global artists.Falling Whistles, a group seeking to raise awareness about conditions in the African Congo, wound up plastering their campaign posters atop the mural called "Only Time Will Tell," which is at 2nd and Garey streets in Downtown's Arts District.
The mural was the creation of street artist Revok, along with several other international artists. "It wasn't anything as dorky as an official commission, but it wasn't just a bunch of untalented tags, either. And many would argue it was one of the raddest pieces in the arts district," describes the L.A. Weekly.
It didn't take long for a public outcry to take to the internet. Among them, Jet Set Graffiti, who spoke out on Twitter about the mural cover-up. They got involved in helping understand what happened, and to make it right. Jet Set Graffiti's Daniel Lahoda explains:
The organization, Falling Whistles, and it’s [sic] director, Sean Carasso did not intend to upset the community. They were looking for a spot to host their own campaign to help people in the Congo. I spoke with Sean over the phone last night. He was obviously upset that his project, while well-intentioned, caused a pretty big problem for the local community. He expressed a desire to do whatever he could to make it right.
The result, a letter of apology from Carasso and Falling Whistles.
"We screwed up," it begins. From the letter:
It was not our intention to disrespect the artists of that wall. Or any wall. We love the art in our community and treasure the freedom to say what we feel however we feel it. The point was to elevate the heroic nature of protest. And give people a chance to make themselves heard and seen. Something this neighborhood helped teach us.
But in the end, we did all of this on the wrong wall. And we screwed up. We respect the time, energy, money and talent that went into creating that mural. To the MSK crew and supporters - we apologize.
Had we known yesterday what we know today, we would have gone directly to the artists and talked about how we could do it together. We did not.
What Lahoda, Carasso, and others are gleaning from this is the need for Los Angeles to tighten its public art policy. This concern falls in line with a current campaign kicked off by the sky-writing "tagging" art of SABER, who, along with other artists, activists, and Angelenos, to end the "mural moratorium" in Los Angeles.