After one small figure in the sprawling historical mural being painted along one block of West Church Street was vandalized three times in one week, artist Lauren Sinnott said she plans to change it.
“One tiny part of this great big panel, one small figure, was defaced,” said Sinnott last week on the day the vandalism first happened, July 22. She reported the incident to the Ukiah Police Department, repaired that section of the mural and prepared to move on.
“It was a shock, but I’m almost grateful to the person who did it, because they didn’t do more, and they reminded me how important it is to coat the surface with protective coating,” said Sinnott, explaining that this was the first instance of vandalism to the block-long mural she has been painting for the past three summers. “I always tell people how great the community has been, and I want to say still is, in respecting the mural and not wanting to see it scrawled on. And we’re just going to move forward, being a fabulous, wonderful community, together.”
However, the figure was soon defaced a second time, and Sinnott again repaired it after again calling the UPD on July 24 to report the incident. Sinnott then repaired the mural again, but returned the next morning to find the figure defaced a third time and again reported the vandalism to the UPD, describing the cost of the damage at $1,000.
While talking about the incidents with local media, Sinnott said the owner of a local taxi service offered to have his drivers patrol the area and keep an eye out for the person Sinnott said is suspected to be defacing her mural. She described the suspect as a woman who has a personal animosity toward the person depicted in the mural due to mutual romantic entanglements.
This week, Sinnott said she has now decided to replace the figure that was repeatedly defaced with someone, or something else. For now, the small figure remains damaged.
Sinnott said the rest of her mural is protected with a coating that does not keep people from drawing on it, but does allow her to remove any graffiti without removing her paint. She also coated a mural across the street on the former Poma TV building, which she said allowed her to more easily remove a swastika and other Nazi symbols that had been added on the figure of a woman sitting under the words “Raccoon Lodge” earlier this year.
(Ukiah Daily Journal)