New painting removed after police complaint

Small Spaces painting covered up one day after its made. (WLFI Photo)
Small Spaces painting covered up one day after its made. (WLFI Photo)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A painting put up Sunday through Lafayette’s Small Spaces series was covered up just a day later following a complaint from at least one Lafayette police officer.

The black and white painting depicts a police officer dressed in riot gear. It’s painted on the west wall of Sylvia’s Brick Oven in downtown Lafayette. That space borders the Lafayette police parking lot.

Since Monday, the painting has been covered in red paint, but the image is still partly visible from the parking lot.

Sylvia’s owner, Dick Nagel, said at least one police officer complained about the image, adding many others did not. That led Margy Deverall, Small Spaces’ project manager, to order the painting be covered up.

Small Spaces curator Zach Medler said the city-approved project isn’t intended to offend anyone.

“This is meant to beautify our community,” Medler said. “This is meant to turn some boarded spaces into something that’s aesthetically pleasing and socially minded and thoughtful, and that’s really all it’s about.”

Medler adds he was upset when the painting was taken down, but said he wants the whole community to get behind the project.

He will also meet with Lafayette Police Chief Patrick Flannelly on Friday in an attempt to clear up what he calls a big misunderstanding.

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