In January, the City of Brownsville Mayor, Trey Mendez, took to social media to bring attention to a public mural’s defacement in downtown. The mural titled “Bloom Where you are Planted” features multi-colored blooming flowers surrounding cursive text that spells out the phrase in its name. The message and imagery are about the beauty of perseverance despite difficulties.

The inspirational piece now has black scribbles over it that make out the words “La Parra #1, Los Lobos ESLP”. News of the vandalism drew local media coverage and online commentary in support of the street art piece.

As the artist, the interest and community support including the Mayor’s first interest is humbling. I am happy that the work resonates with folks, especially those who see it often. It is a bummer that someone tagged over it but after friends and acquaintances made me aware, I had mixed feelings on what to do next. 

At first I thought, “It was due time.” The work has been there for over 5 years, longer than most graffiti and street art. It’s kind of how the thing works.

Another part of me however, thought that this could be a learning opportunity and a way to support public art collectively by crowdsourcing a solution. I also didn’t want people to focus on solving the problem through over policing communities and going after probable teenage culprits. 

I started a GoFundMe Campaign titled “Restore Bloom Mural” and as of today have raised over half of the thousand dollar goal. Thanks so much to those who have donated! I have also been lucky for the support and encouragement of other local artist who offered suggestions, painting materials, as well as their help. 

I am confident that the mural will be restored bigger and better but your support would be appreciated. It would be great to make the restoration a community event for those who want to volunteer or learn about and support public art. I will keep you all posted!

Thank you,