Graffiti News: San Jose, City and artist huddle over fate of vandalized mural at Paul Moore Park
San Jose city officials are consulting with the artist who painted a mural at Paul Moore Park to determine whether damage done to the artwork earlier this year by a graffiti vandal can be undone.
San Francisco artist Davey Hubay, who also painted a mural at nearby Hacienda Environmental Science Magnet School, finished the forest tree mural over the course of several months in 2000.
The vandal painted what appears to be bubbled letters over the backdrop of trees and mountains.
“We’re trying to get a sense of who is managing this issue, there’s a number of questions that aren’t answered,” District 9 Councilman Donald Rocha said in an interview. “As far as I’m concerned, I’d like to see it stay. I think it’s a great asset to the park, and I’d honestly like to see some more [murals] in our parks.”
There’s some hope. Rocha’s policy aide, Andrea Hyde, said that the city’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department and the Office of Cultural Affairs indicated interest in working with Hubay to repair her artwork.
“Councilman Rocha is encouraging them to work with the artist on this project, and supports community involvement when it comes to public art in our parks and neighborhoods,” Hyde wrote in an email.
A graffiti-resistant coating was originally applied when Hubay created the mural. The coating is supposed to allow graffiti to be scrubbed off up to about 10 times in the same spot, but it’s uncertain yet whether it actually protected the mural.
“We’re a little bit up in the air as to what needs to be done to restore it because one needs to scrub it off to see if it needs recoating,” Hubay said. “We can’t say what’s going to happen with the restoration. … We don’t quite know what the situation is.”
Hubay wasn’t upset when notified about the vandalism, calling it part of living in the city.
“I’m not surprised; I’m just surprised it hasn’t happened sooner,” Hubay said. “When you do a mural like that in a public space anything can happen. It’s not like a work of art that’s in a museum with museum guards, so you just put the anti-graffiti coating on and hope for the best.”
Regardless of the mural’s fate, Hubay is happy that the public has enjoyed her art for so many years.
“I just hope people have enjoyed the mural and will continue to enjoy it,” Hubay said. “I’m sure we’ll figure out how to deal with the removal of the paint.”
Julia Baum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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