JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Local artists have raised funds to fix a mural on Blanding Boulevard and Palmer Avenue in Jacksonville’s Lakeshore neighborhood that was vandalized in December.
“For me, in particular, my mural, is to show representation, you often don’t see images in museums or galleries of black or brown people a lot and so with my work, I just want to show that reflection of things I want to see, so I want to see art, that looks like me sometimes,” said Chris Clark, Black Mural Map artist.
The mural was created around the time of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country. Then the murals were damaged and it was being investigated as a hate crime.
“Somebody had some type of paint stripper and the smeared it all over the murals, on the faces, and a lot of the important parts of the mural, basically it ate away at the paint,” Clark said. “At first I was shocked, I didn’t think anyone would go through that kind of trouble to damage some artwork. We have seen some people come with a sharpie and maybe paint, but never chemicals to destroy the work.”
The artists said the project initially took about 300 hours to complete and they have invested another 100 hours to fix it. They also launched a GoFundMe fundraiser to help with the costs.
“We exceeded the goal, and with those funds, we were able to fund the other side of the building to get more artists to do murals,” Clark said.
Black Mural Map says they hope to finish redoing the last part of the mural that was vandalized this weekend. They say they will begin painting new murals near the existing paintings in the near future.