Murals highlighting Black artists of Jacksonville vandalized three times in recent weeks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Artist Maiya Elaine tells Action News Jax three murals highlighting Black artists in Jacksonville have been vandalized three times in the past few weeks.

The murals, located at a Lakeshore storefront off Blanding Boulevard, were painted in 2020 amid civil unrest following the death of George Floyd. The murals are part of the “Black Mural Map Project.”

“They crossed out all of our tags. They went over what she was trying to map out again. Mine I just went ahead and started redoing it,” said Elaine.

Action News Jax reported on Dec. 11 when the murals were doused in chemicals stripping the paint away.

Elaine says the murals have been vandalized twice since our first report. She says two of the murals were defaced again this week.

“It was very disturbing in a way. I don’t think that those people are actually thinking about what their message means. They’re not thinking about the effect that it has on people of minorities, people that look like me,” she said.

Elaine spent New Year’s Day working to bring her mural back to life.

Artist Chris Clark, who Action News Jax introduced in December, says he’ll be reinvigorating his mural in the coming days.

“It’s just pretty frustrating to think that we can go out there and do all that work time and time again and someone just keeps finding the time to go out and mess it up,” said Clark.

The artists say nothing will stop them from sharing their message.

“It was an image that we want to see in the world. It was active representation of people that look like us,” said Elaine.

Clark told Action News Jax in December the acts of vandalism were being investigated as a hate crime.

We’ve reached out to JSO for an update on the investigation. As soon as we hear back, we’ll be sure to update you.

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