‘Love Unites Us’ mural defaced in Fayetteville

Local News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Vandalism, painted across a message of hope in Fayetteville.

A mural on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Fayetteville, controversial yet again, no matter how hard a local artist tries to make it positive.

Samantha Boyd has more on why this mural has been such a hot topic in recent weeks.

On another wall of this building on MLK in Fayetteville, the vandal wrote “14 words” referencing a white supremacist slogan. Local artist Oliva Trimble says she plans to paint over this wall as well.

“I don’t know what the motive was from this individual besides like spreading a really gross message but they don’t get to win,” said Trimble.

The words “Love Weakens Us” painted over Trimble’s previous mural “Love Unites Us” sparked emotion in more people than just the artist. Gulf War Veteran Nathaniel Thomas recently began running with an American Flag across cities in Arkansas hoping to spread unity. Today’s route passing right by these walls.

“I came through here and I saw graffiti on the building and was like I know what that means that’s not good especially with my message I’m spreading in the state of Arkansas,” said Thomas. “It causes more division than what we need because right now our message is trying to spread love and peace and unity, the message that’s on the wall is not it, that’s negativity that’s something we as a country don’t stand for.”

For years now, Trimble has made it her mission to paint over hate speech with art that she hopes better reflects our community’s values. Trimble hopes using her skills to do this will encourage others to also use their talents to make a difference.

“I always like to encourage people to use their own skill sets to address issues in their community or nationwide,” said Trimble. “It just happens to be that my skillset is painting so this is how I pitch in.”

Trimble will be painting over the vandalized wall tonight just to cover the hate speech but is making plans for what message she will paint there next. Whatever that message is, she knows it will be one that spreads positivity.

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