CREATED May. 10, 2013
Omaha, NE - In south Omaha, vivid paintings are everywhere, but even the biggest murals are masked by crime. For three decades, Jim Stevens has watched paintings go up, get damaged and go up again. "I love this part of town, I love south Omaha but the graffiti just keeps coming, it makes me very angry," says Stevens.
Stevens owns a vacuum shop that neighbors one of the famous portraits called "Mi casa, es su casa". He hasn't seen the portrait complete for years because every time the city rids the painting of graffiti, it's back up days later. "It was completely different when it was first made, it was beautiful and its been defaced so many times they may as well completely cover it over now," says Stevens.
That's exactly what's in store for the decade old mural. Thursday, the south Omaha business association made the decision to paint over the work of art. "It does get tagged and it's sort of fading away," says president of the business association, David Catalan.
Catalan recently met with an award winning artist. Plans are in the process to paint a new mural that will be much bigger and more vibrant. Catalan hopes those creating graffiti in the area respect the piece. "It will be a community project, it will give these kids that are tagging the opportunity to express themselves in a more creative fashion." Catalan hopes local kids become involved in the new mural and help create the next piece of artwork in south Omaha.