MIAMI (WSVN) - Artists are scrambling to clean up a mural in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood ahead of Miami Art Week after it was defaced by vandals.
Speaking with 7News on Monday, artist Kyle Holbrook said the mural is meant to inspire.
“It’s a showcasing of the beauty that lies within these communities,” he said. “This is a depiction of influential and important African Americans to speak to this Black community and to be an inspiration.”
The mural features people like Michelle Obama, George Floyd and Serena Williams, to name a few.
“It inspires people to do anything they want to do in their lives and to live in this community,” said Estefanie Morena with the Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project, or MLK Community Mural Project.
But over the weekend, the colorful artwork, located in the area of Northwest First Avenue and 16th Street, was found vandalized.
“It was a horrible experience seeing it yesterday all tagged up. They covered the faces of all of these influential people,” said Morena.
Messages were also spray-painted onto the artwork as well, like one that uses derogatory language toward women.
In addition, an “X” was spray-painted over the face of the mural’s depiction of Vice President Kamala Harris, with “Trump 24 [expletive]” written beside it.
“I think it’s important to express this is happening — and it’s still happening — so people know it’s hurtful,” said Morena.
The mural was painted in 2021 by Holbrook along with other local artists and dozens of children from the community.
It took them over four weeks to complete, and it’s not the first time, in the last year and a half this mural has been hit by vandals.
In July of 2021, the words “death is forever” was spray painted across the forehead of the image of Floyd.
Fast forward to this last weekend, and what was supposed to just be some touch-ups ahead of Miami Art Week turned into a tedious cleanup project.
On Monday, Holbrook and others from the MLK Community Mural Project were seen working to bring the mural back to life.
“Myself and my team at MLK Mural, we put our heart and soul into it, and to see people want to come and purposefully destroy it, I think it shows the impact of how beautiful it is that they want to hate,” said Holbrook. “The good thing is, the positive energy always wins.”
The artists worked through the night in order to finish fixing the mural.
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