Nineteen of the 21 newly commissioned murals at Westlake State Park were graffitied and defaced in the early hours of July 15. The Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD), with the support of the local skate community, will file felony charges for the destruction of more than $8,000 in artwork.
To help reduce the potential of this happening again, residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity to the police department by calling the GJPD non-emergency number 970-242-6707. Additionally the City is pursuing other means to deter vandalism such as quickly responding and fixing any type of vandalism. Although upset with the felony level of vandalism, the muralists have quickly responded to fix their artwork. Within the past two weeks, Parks and Recreation have worked with those 19 muralists and more than half of the murals have been fixed or are in the process of being fixed.
The murals are works of art created by local artists in the community and funded by the new annual Skate Park Mural Program through Grand Junction Parks and Recreation. The program is designed to transform the skate parks into vibrant, colorful, and artistic spaces that enhance the skate park and offer a more inclusive environment.
Earlier this spring, the local skate community choose 19 artists to paint 21 available spaces. The skate park was closed for painting and artwork the last week of April and it reopened with the 10th annual Skate and Mural Jam event on Saturday, April 30. This family-friendly event saw more than 600 attendees and featured three levels of skate competition, local food trucks, and live music. Eagle Rim Skate Park will undergo a similar transformation this fall.
The mural program is one element of the partnership between the City of Grand Junction and the skate community that is helping to ensure skate parks are exciting and positive places.