Overnight on Friday, June 26, public art has been defaced. It had been installed as part of the City of Salida’s effort to designate a social space along F Street, allowing retailers and restaurants to begin to reopen in the next stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Salida has issued the following statement:
“The City of Salida denounces the vandalism of public art in downtown Salida that occurred on the night of June 26, 2020,” reads the statement from the City of Salida. ” Sadly, a local artist’s painting expressing support for the Black Lives Matter movement was vandalized.
Although controversial, this painting – and its destruction – serve as an important reminder to make equity and free speech a priority and to channel this movement, during highly charged times, to drive real action and long-overdue change.
It is discouraging that this attack on our community occurred when we are trying to make Salida a safe community for all. We must redouble our efforts to dismantle systemic racism and bigotry, and stay united as Salidans. Creative arts revitalized this community over the past three decades, and the City is grateful for the contributions of all artists in making us who we are. The Salida City Council calls on all Salidans to protect and nurture artists and all of their forms, controversial or not.
For more information, please contact City Hall at 719-539-4555.”
Featured image: “Black Lives Matter” @clairedeve on F Street in Salida. Merrell Bergin photo