Last week, a vandal destroyed one of the “Black Lives Matter” art pieces on display at the Riverwalk. This week, the same art piece was vandalized for a second time. Following the initial vandalism, the artwork was reprinted and reinstalled this Tuesday.
The piece was up for less than two days before it was torn down again.
“I have a hard time wrapping my head around why people would do such a thing, but it does happen and you just pick up the pieces perhaps literally and go from there,” Chris Whittey, the Department Chair of Art at Columbus State University, said.
After the initial vandalism, the artist, Sammie Saxon, released a statement on Instagram about the damage.
“Just the idea of peace and equality becomes ‘offensive,’ and sadly a call to action; the statement that all men are created equally is now deemed radical,” Saxon said.
This art was part of the exhibition titled “We Cannot Walk Alone,” which works to amplify the voices of the marginalized and allies who are seeking justice and support. The vandalized piece was a digital photography project by Saxon, which pictured a child in the middle of a peace rally holding a Black Lives Matter sign.
“The vandalism kind of brings more awareness and more attention to the overall art piece,” Saxon said. “It kind of becomes a part of it because the community is responding to what we put out.”
Columbus State University police have not yet given a statement about whether there are any suspects.
The art piece has been completely removed for now, but the art director, Hannah Israel, says they are planning on replacing the art as soon as possible.