We support murals, rights of property owners
By the Advocate Editorial Board
July 22, 2014 at 2:22 a.m.
When the Victoria TX Indie Film Fest comes to town each year, the Advocate celebrates and welcomes the event.
Many on our staff are art-and-culture enthusiasts, and we enjoy seeing the film festival invite international perspective and color to the city.
So when festival Executive Director Anthony Pedone informed us earlier this year that he arranged for professional graffiti artists to come in from Austin and illustrator Bernd Muss to fly in from Germany, the Advocate jumped at the chance to cover the artwork in the newspaper.
But we learned July 11, that at least one of the murals painted on the side of the Children's Discovery Museum of the Golden Crescent in April wasn't a collaborative effort between festival organizers and the building's owners, the Victoria Junior League.
Since its completion, Pedone and league representatives have exchanged heated discussions about painting over the alligator and dolphin mural on the side of the Children's Discovery Museum, also called the Kreisle Building, 204 N. Main St.
He wants to leave it up. The league wants to take it down.
Pedone earlier stated he requested permission to paint the side of the league's building from Robby Burdge, the owner of the lot in between the museum and the League's headquarters.
But neither Burdge nor Pedone sought permission from the league.
Sara Hounshell, Junior League president, said while the muralists were painting during the festival they were informed they didn't have permission to paint the side of the building and were told to stop painting.
The artists stopped painting for the evening but returned the following day to finish the job.
The mural has remained on the side of the wall since.
The problem is that the Kreisle Building is for sale, and the league has stated the mural will affect the resale value of the property.
We cannot say whether it will or won't, but ultimately, our opinion doesn't matter because we don't own the building; the league does.
The Advocate applauds Burdge for taking responsibility of the mural mishap and for offering to pay to have it painted over at his expense.
We also support the league in its decision to have the mural painted over.
It is its building - its property - and it should be able to paint over it if they so choose.
But we also continue to support Pedone and the film festival and welcome any future artists visiting our city and painting murals on our downtown walls.
We only hope next time, everyone participating is in the know.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.