A Lansing mural depicting George Floyd was defaced with white paint on Tuesday.
The mural, entitled “Walk With Me,” was painted by Flint-based artist Isiah Lattimore along Lansing’s ARTPath, a series of works on the city’s River Trail. It honors the Black man who was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis.
Statement from artist Isiah Lattimore
What I love most about public art is that it is so much about the conversation you have with the community. Unfortunately sometimes that conversation can go bad, and that's what happened here. Someone was upset enough that they aim to make a statement. On the flip side of that with the response in the support we've received in regards to efforts to raise funds to not only see the mural fixed but to promote even more projects in the city, we have an example of how powerful holding that discord in the public space can be as a positive force. It's true sometimes people can be ugly, but before I even had time to be upset about the mural getting defaced I was amazed with the overwhelming amount of people being just simply beautiful. Simply can't thank everyone enough. Artist Isiah Lattimore
Since the damage was discovered, a GoFundMe page has more than doubled its initial $1,000 goal to cover supplies and Lattimore’s time to make repairs. Organizer Marissa Thaler says she’s referring people to the effort underway by the ARTPath sponsor Lansing Art Gallery. The gallery’s Executive Director Barb Whitney says the community is “wrapping its arms around Isiah," adding that "a lot of people came forward and asked how they could help, and some people started their own campaigns, I’m sure without realizing that we might do that as well.”
Whitney hopes that repairs will include a protective coating to limit future damage. She explains "one of the factors is that we want to make sure an additional supplement, which is a clear coat for the work, that would be in addition to the painting as a supplemental protective layer.”