The mural on the Mark III Taproom and various other downtown buildings were defaced with graffiti Aug. 14. The mural was created as a "love note" to the city after the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Mary Freda, DN
Mark III mural, downtown buildings defaced with graffiti
After a string of downtown Muncie buildings were tagged on the night of Aug. 14, Braydee Euliss was nervous.
When she found out her mind immediately went to: Was the messaging of the aerosol creation against the LGBT community? Did the tagging oppose the months-long project’s mission?
The answer, in short, was no.
The graffiti that was placed over the downtown mural, which was painted in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, was not offensive, said Euliss, who was the creative placemaker for the mural, said.
“If it were [offensive], we would have gotten rid of it probably the very same day and not in the prettiest way but just to make sure that nobody had to look at it anymore. But that's not the content of the tagging. So, we feel like we have a little bit more time to plan and do it the right way,” Euliss said.
Though the content of the tag wasn’t offensive, the mural is intricate. It took months of planning and two months to paint. However, Euliss said the silver lining of the graffiti is the community is still invested in helping with the project.
In 2016, We’re Trying Collective — a group of artists living and working in Muncie — announced its first project “On the Mark, For the City,” a mural on the side of Mark III Taproom, Indiana’s oldest LGBT bar.
The mural was a “love note” to the city in the aftermath of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting, project co-founder Faith Kellermeyer told The Daily News in 2017.
As of Monday, We’re Trying Collective has yet to form a cleanup plan. However, Euliss said there are multiple factors to restoring the mural, like coordinating schedules and planning around the weather.
“Our plan is to just make sure that we have enough paint for all of the colors and get out there with a lot of paint brushes and it's basically coloring in the lines at this point,” said Euliss, who also is the executive director for the Muncie Arts and Culture Council.
While Euliss said she is confident the colors will be able to cover the graffiti, the next step is possibly looking into an anti-graffiti coating. The coating was considered during the early stages of the project, however the group ultimately decided against it because the wall hadn’t been tagged previously.
Although Euliss is unsure of where the graffiti is from, she said she doesn’t think it’s someone from the Muncie community because of how much respect community members show for the effort that was put into the mural.
“I think that it's vandalism and I think that calling it graffiti is a disservice to graffiti artists who care about their craft and would never tag over someone else's work,” Euliss said.
Other downtown locations, including Pridemark Construction, an apartment building on Charles Street and a brick wall on Mace Boulevard were tagged with similar graffiti.
Marketing and Contract Administrator at Pridemark, Meagan Fisher, said the graffiti was discovered by Rachel Hickey, the company’s controller, around 6 a.m. Wednesday.
A few hours later, Fisher said the company was able to cover the graffiti, which displayed the letters “GCD” and the phrase “fake culture.”
According to police reports obtained by The Daily News, a 24-ounce, white spray paint can was recovered from the crime scene. Muncie Police Chief Joe Winkle said the department will not undergo an investigation.