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Arts District or "ad" district? Businesses upset about mural covered for ad placement

Mural wall
Posted at 10:02 PM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 01:23:35-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In a viral post on Instagram, Nevada Brew Works sounded the alarm to followers online after a beloved mural across the street was painted over with white paint in the heart of the Arts District.

Co-owner Lauren Taylor said the past mural brought business to her doors.

"It was an iconic masterpiece that really brought a lot of value to the Arts District," Taylor said. "Photographers would bring their wedding parties. People with their families would come and take photos. People admired it from our patio."

Anger spread online quickly with much of the backlash aimed at a company called Visionary Walls.

In a now deleted post, the company said they acquired the spot and would be offering it for ad space.

In the post, Visionary Walls said the space was one of ten they were offering to advertisers.

"I don't want to see more artwork being covered up with more ads," Taylor said. "We don't want ads here. We certainly don't want a beer ad especially in the brewery row area."

Artist Xavi Panneton said learning his mural had been destroyed was difficult as it was the first major project he'd completed after his home and workshop were destroyed in a 2020 Oregon wildfire.

"It's like a kick in the stomach and a heartbreaking feeling," he said. "It's definitely a real feeling of loss and grief. It makes you want to cry."

Even though Panneton hasn't lived in Las Vegas, he said the Arts District is a special place with a unique culture that should be protected.

"I don't think the Arts District is a place for advertisements any more than I think the inside of an arts museum or an art gallery is," he said.

KTNV reached out to Visionary Walls to respond to the backlash, and representatives declined to comment saying they would have more information in the coming weeks.