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Local artists restore vandalized mural in Santa Rosa

Ricardo Ibarra
Written by Ricardo Ibarra

Almost a month after a mural with brown-toned faces was vandalized in the SOFA district of downtown Santa Rosa, the artists have finished restoring their pieces with the support of an online fundraiser.

The mural at 505 and 514 Santa Rose Ave. were splashed with a large amount of white paint in mid-May.

“I was pretty upset about everything that happened,” said local artist MJ Lindo-Lawyer, after painting the mural on Saturday. “To be honest, I did not think I was going to restore that wall. I was very hurt.”

But once the story reached the media, and a friend created an online fundraising campaign to cover the restoration costs, Lindo-Lawyer’s perspective changed.

“Once we saw people were excited about making this happen, we were just surprised by the support,” she said. “Something positive came out of the negative.”

The GoFundMe campaign collected $3,453, which was distributed among the three artists participating in the restoration of the mural: Lindo-Lawyer, her husband Joshua Lawyer, and his friend Big Hepos.

Previous versions showed profiles of people of color. This time, the three decided to exhibit frontal faces, which is more confrontational.

“In my case, I wanted to have the same model, but instead of looking outward, I put her looking straight forward,” said the artist.

Although the mural is temporary because of a housing development planned on the site in a year or two, its re-creation was something important to the artists, who have new projects in the area of Roseland, next to the recently approved Roseland Village.

“We want to do something very nice for that area of the city,” Lindo-Lawyer said.

[Versión en español]

Translated from Spanish to English by La Prensa Sonoma’s intern, Mayra Lopez. 

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Reach La Prensa Sonoma’s Editor Ricardo Ibarra at 707-526-8501 or email ricardo.ibarra@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ricardibarra.

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