My Mural in Washington, DC is at Risk of Destruction: Sign to Save Public Art!

  • by: Karlisima Rodas-Israel
  • recipient: The Potter's House Board of Directors, Marcia Harrington, Tim Kumfer, Maria Barker, Jim Bennet, Mike Hopkins, Renise Walker, Shelley Markus, Dominic Moulden, Jay Forth, Dixcy Bosley-Smith

Please sign my petition to save my art mural at The Potter's House, 1658 Columbia Road NW, Washington D.C.

The coffee house/bookstore/event space is undergoing renovations, and the new management is planning to paint over my mural. They say that the candle in the mural is a bold religious symbol that would prevent people from coming into the Potter's House. This couldn’t be further from the truth! The mural is called “The Light of the World” -- it represents the light that’s in all of us. The light is universal.

Everyone who appreciates Art and Beauty and believes in the universal symbol of Light, representing Hope and Unity, should speak up now before the mural is destroyed.

Please sign my petition so that together as one community we can save the Potter's House Mural.

An article in The Washington Post Express from August 5, 2014 reads:

The new owners (of the Potter's House) plan to paint over the work, fearing that its religious overtone will scare off secular patrons, WAMU reported. The artist Karla-Karlisima Rodas-Israel, plans to fight its destruction, noting that the candle isn't religious: "The light is universal."

The candle in the mural represents Universal Light. One community resident, who is supporting the preservation of the mural, said: "Everybody needs the light. Who wants to live in darkness?" Several community supporters said that the candle is welcoming and a symbol of safety.” - Rachel Sadon (EXPRESS)

My mural is a gift to the Adams Morgan Community and was painted with public funds. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities awarded a grant called "Public Art Building Communities." It took one year of public meetings and community approval with the ANC, with the Potter's House church community members being an intrical part of the process. It took 9 months to paint with the help of five fellow artists assisting.

This mural belongs to the Community. If you appreciate this mural, now is the time to make your voices heard. Keep spreading the word and keep your comments in support of the mural coming. Please sign this petition and send your tweets to @karlisima1!

Actions speak louder than words. The transitional management team of the Potter's House says they intend to continue to support local artists in the future and yet they are not supporting a local artist now. They say they may allow "a new more secular mural to grace its wall" in the future.

They do not appreciate the gift of the mural they have now, and, in the process, they are wasting public funds and throwing away this investment and the effort and time of the artist and assisting artists who lovingly painted it.

In addition, there is nothing remotely religious in the candle in the current mural. A candle is a universal symbol of light. It is a symbol for all cultures, all religions, and yet it can be very secular as well. People light candles when they take bubble baths, or for a romantic dinner, or for a vigil to mourn the dead in memorial services, or to meditate to be at peace or simply to relax, or when the electricity goes out, or on a camping trip.

If Potter’s House keeps this mural, it will be a public way to extend good will, good vibrations and friendship to the community at-large and attract new customers into their doors after the renovation, when they re-open.

The many people who love the mural and pass by it every day will be happy that the Potter’s House decided to keep it, and will be more willing to come in to support their community bookstore and coffee shop.

Keeping the mural is in line with the Potter's House original mission and vision. To learn more about the original mission and vision of the Potter's House, click here.

Let’s preserve our precious public murals and art which make our city so unique and so beautiful! Thank you for your prayers and for your help! May the Universal Light and Love be always with you! -Karlisima. //

Potter's House,

We the undersigned urge you to listen to community members and keep Karlisima's mural intact. The mural is a symbol of universal light and hope, and it adds, not detracts, from our community.

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