|Messenger photo by Whitney Wilson Coy
|The "Heroes of Camp Chase" mural at Westgate Park recently fell victim to graffiti. The mural was dedicated Oct. 17, 2009.
The long-awaited “Heroes of Camp Chase” mural at Westgate Park wasn’t around for long before vandals left their mark.
The 70 foot by 20 foot multi-color mural on the east face of the raquetball courts was designed by artist Curtis Goldstein and commissioned by Friends of Westgate Park. Goldstein began work in July 2009 and the mural was dedicated Oct. 17.
FOWP president Lisa Grazier was notified of graffiti on the mural just before Christmas.
“It’s horrible,” said Grazier.
The mural was intended to commemorate the historical significance of Camp Chase in the history of the Westside.
It was also intended to serve as a deterrent for graffiti, a problem that had long plagued the big, blank wall.
According to Grazier, who also serves as coordinator of Camp Chase Blockwatch, the graffiti is gang related.
“The police are patrolling the area,” said Grazier.
Columbus Recreation and Parks Department arranged for a permanent spotlight to be installed after the graffiti was discovered.
Grazier says Goldstein has been contacted and is under contract to repair any damage done to the work for 10 years at an hourly rate.
“That money for the repairs is paid through Friends of Westgate Park,” said Grazier, who added that the organization is accepting any donations to help pay for repair work.
Goldstein can add a graffiti barrier coating to the mural once repairs are made, but FOWP may not opt for that.
“Unfortunately, the coating has a brown tint,” said Grazier.
According to Grazier, the protective coating would not only discolor the mural, but is not cost effective.
“Graffiti can be removed from it by using a hot power wash, but that also removes some of the coating, which has to be reapplied,” said Grazier. “The coating is very expensive, so it’s almost cost prohibitive.”
Goldstein plans to begin repair work to the mural in mid-spring, when the weather permits. He estimates it will take one day’s worth of work.
Anyone wanting to donate to FOWP can email Lisa Grazier at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sue Laughlin at 278-9358.