Residents, muralist bring color to city right-of-way

Residents, muralist bring color to city right-of-way
Painting the “kids wall” in the Inwood Terrace bulkhead beautification project were Leah Troup, Benjamin Jarvis, Arianna Jones, muralist Nicole Holderbaum, Emma Domingo and Lauren Livingston.

Two vandals are in the process of making amends after leaving their mark on the new mural, which was recently painted on the bulkhead of the city right-of-way at the end of Inwood Terrace.

Residents, muralist bring color to city right-of-way

Daryl Gottleib, Randall Rodgers, Dale Rodgers, Tessa Gottleib and Clair Domingo stand alongside a bird of paradise mural, which was painted over the former “Let It Be” wall.

In late April, muralist Nicole Holderbaum was commissioned by the residents of Inwood Terrace to paint several colorful scenes on the bulkhead near the river at the end of their street. Holterbaum worked for more than a week, beautifying the area and spent many hours May 14 working with several neighborhood children painting the “kids’ wall” on the south wall of the bulkhead near the fence owned by Norma Hagan. Yet, barely before the paint had dried, just two days afterward, two vandals struck, stenciling in black a symbol representing the 1970’s punk rock bank Crass over Holderbaum’s marine seascape.

“I can’t speak for the whole neighborhood, but I can only say when you have a brand new mural that has recently been painted, it is blatant disrespect by somebody who has no vested interest in how that spot looks,” said Inwood Terrace resident Jason Judge. “We are going to try to stop it before it goes any further.”

Armed with photographs taken of the vandals, who spent a total of four minutes desecrating the colorful artwork, local police soon identified the culprits, said Daryl Gottlieb, a resident who lives close to the right-of-way.

Residents, muralist bring color to city right-of-way

The vandals are “people who grew up in the area who’ve always known this spot to be the graffiti spot, so they figured why not try out a new stencil they made for a different project at the graffiti spot?” said Judge, adding the pair have agreed to pay for the cost of Holderbaum to restore the mural and make a donation toward the beautification project. “They have also volunteered to help with any further improvements to the area,” he said. “We knew graffiti was inevitable. This is all part of the take back and transformation process of our little public beach. Stopping the problem at the source is the answer. I don’t think our city has time to deal with a problem that the community is better suited to handle.”

It was a desire on the part of Inwood Terrace residents to prevent teenagers from covering the bulkhead walls with offensive graffiti that sparked the beautification effort in the first place. The neighborhood raised more than $2,500 through a crowdfunding site to hire Holderbaum to paint the bulkhead and stairs leading to the river’s shoreline with color. An anti-graffiti coating was to cover the murals after Holderbaum had finished the project, but unfortunately hadn’t been applied before the vandals made their mark.

Although the residents were upset by the mischief, they are not discouraged, Judge said. In the works is an effort to plant vines and install trellises near Hagan’s fence. Benches will be placed on the grassy area on the top of the bulkhead so visitors can enjoy the river view, said Gottleib. And as these two vandals know too well, the residents have installed cameras and motion lighting as a way to curb future vandalism, he said.

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

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