To the editor:

We, as an art community, regret the destruction of Julia Holmes’ mosaic glass mural at the Malone Recreation Park.

As we consider this loss, we ask: Can art change a community? The answer is yes. Art makes us feel. Art encourages intuition, embraces uncertainty and challenges permanence. Art changes opinions, instills values, organizes thoughts and drives action.

Can we create a new understanding for ourselves and our community in the pile of cinder blocks that was Julia’s legacy?

We have plans for the mural pieces. A moving piece of art will come from the rubble. There are lessons in this and we ask you to consider: How did Julia’s art make you feel? Will you allow it to make you more creative, more courageous, more compassionate? Will it guide your understanding of the importance of gathering feedback before moving ahead, will it open your mind to different opinions, and will it move you to find your voice and take action? Can we, as a community, find grace, even amidst such a thoughtless act?

Where there is destruction, Julia would have found inspiration, a new direction, beauty and joy. “Joy” was her word. Let a new awareness be her lasting gift.

Art can change a community. We will keep you updated on our plans. If this message has moved you, please share with your friends and elected officials and express how Julia’s mural touched you. Art has the power to change, inspire and move us forward. Let us be an example, and let that example’s vibration heal our community, our nation and our world.

Jen Bilow

on behalf of

Downtown Artist Cellar

Malone

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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