Artists upset with effort to preserve BLM mural in Capitol Hill

A group of people worked to preserve the Black Lives Matter mural along Pine Street in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood Sunday, but the artists behind the mural say they do not appreciate the act.

Walking through Capitol Hill, there is little evidence remaining of the CHOP zone. But one piece of art still stands out, and one man wants to make sure it doesn’t fade away.

“We’re not sure how long the city would take for us to make sure we preserve it. So, we took it upon ourselves, as a community, to decide that we want to make sure that their work is preserve,” said Lawrence Pitre.

Pitre is a local artist. He and several other people applied a water sealant to the Black Lives Matter mural that stretches across Pine Street.

But the artists who actually created the mural say they were not notified by Pitre before this happened.

“We’re trying to figure out how ruined is the artwork that we’ve created,” said Perri Rhoden.

Rhoden is one of 16 artists who created the mural. She says she feels disrespected.

“We already have conversations in the works on how to preserve this in the right way, so for someone to come in and vandalize this, because that’s what this is, it’s vandalism,” said Rhoden.

Other artists feel the same way.

“To be able to coerce, and hijack, and make an addition to the piece, and not speak to any of the artist is terribly disrespectful,” said Ari Glass.

Glass also worked on the mural.

Both he and Rhoden say while it is disheartening that another person worked on their art without notifying any of them, they say what is more important to them the message behind the art is preserved.

“We hope that this isn’t just a vanity piece. We are in alignment with having the demands met that this piece represents,” said Glass.

City officials say they had been in talks with the artists on how to preserve the piece.