Painted as a Cover the Night outreach project, Hillcrest mural marked with graffiti on two separate occasions
By Ashley Mackin | SDUN Editor
Along the wall of Kelly’s Treasures Thrift Store at 815 University Ave. in Hillcrest a mural dedicated to the Kony 2012 campaign has been repainted twice in the span of one week after taggers marked it with graffiti.
Patsy Buse, volunteer manager for Kelly’s Treasures, said staff and volunteers of the Invisible Children organization, creators of the Kony 2012 campaign, initially painted the red and black mural on Friday, April 20. On Sunday morning, it was discovered that a graffiti artist sprayed across mural with his or her signature and the message, “Don’t believe the hype.”
On Tuesday, April 24, the Invisible Children volunteers returned with the necessary black paint to repaint a portion of the tagged mural. Before they could repaint the red portion, the mural was tagged again. Buse said she thinks a separate graffiti artist committed the second incident, given the different color of paint and style.
“The police have been informed but apparently there is a lot of graffiti in our city that goes up all the time,” Buse said. “This was different. The artist that did the major graffiti has been around here before.” Buse said she recognized the graffiti artist’s signature. “Apparently the people that do it have done it in Little Italy and Seaport Village, and they just haven’t been caught,” she said.
The volunteers came back a third time on Wednesday to cover the graffiti once again and, as of publication; the mural had not been re-tagged.
“It’s heartbreaking, it’s frustrating [and] it’s maddening,” Buse said. “It’s heartbreaking for the [Invisible Children], its heartbreaking for adults and… for everyone trying to clean up our world and make it a better place for everyone.”
Buse said she would like to put cameras up at her store that face the driveway to catch those responsible, so they could not “do this to our heritage buildings or any of our buildings in our city,” she said.
“We would love to find the graffiti so-called artist and have them captured and [have them] not do this to our heritage buildings or any of our buildings in our city,” she said.
The San Diego-based Invisible Children gathered volunteers and staff across San Diego to paint the mural. The Kony 2012 video aims to inform viewers of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda that uses children as soldiers.
As a part of the Cover the Night initiative, which took place on April 20, Invisible Children volunteers and staff engaged in community outreach projects that included the mural. Murals were painted in the United States and in 203 other countries. The initiative encouraged participants to wear the red signature Kony 2012 shirts, reach out to local elected officials, engaging in community service and paint murals and drawing the Kony 2012 symbol on sidewalks.
Representatives Sunshine Sachs, the public relations firm representing Invisible Children, said they could not comment on the vandalism.