When I moved to Fresno almost a year ago (gasp!), I was excited to see that segments of the city’s Tower District and downtown are decorated with colorful murals. To me, murals and graffiti are a reflection of the community, and a form of free public expression.
So, I was interested when my friend told me she would be participating in a mural project at the Neighborhood Thrift Store, located at 353 E. Olive Ave. in the Tower District. I became even more intrigued when she later told me that the mural was generating controversy in the neighborhood.
As you can see in the photos, the mural features a woman who represents the San Joaquín River, according to a message I received via Facebook. The work, which was created by seven local artists, also features a baby, a mermaid, and a police officer, among other characters.
(My friend told me she painted the police officer, and that he was originally supposed to be pointing a taser gun at the mermaid. That image angered people, so she converted the gun into a banana.)
What are your thoughts on this mural? What are your thoughts on the fight over keeping it, or removing it, from the side of the thrift shop? If you are interested in learning more about the issue, there will be a community meeting tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Neighborhood Thrift shop.