Letter to the Editor: Capitola Ave. Mural Disappears

At least one resident is upset that the mural across the street from Capitola City Hall has been painted over.

The following letter was submitted on Thursday, Aug. 2 in response to the recent disappearance of the mural on the .

Just across from Capitola City Hall sits a nondescript stucco building with all of the excitement of watching drying paint. It wasn't always that way.

Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, the side of the building facing Capitola Avenue sparked such an interest that tourists stopped across from it, amazed, while locals always halted in their walks to the Village to once again admire.

Once upon a time there was what was more than a mere mural or painting. There, inside a studio seen from what appeared to be a window, sat an artist at his easel. Outside, on the sidewalk, looking into the window was a group of the curious, watching the artist at work. Seen from the sidewalk in front of city hall, the scene had depth and reality, so much so that those viewing it had to cross the street and see the painting up close, touch the people, and the artist, unbelieving that it was just a painting on a flat surface. 

It was a point of conversation, a tourist attraction like none other, that extended ordinary conversations on the walk to the beach. It sparked debates and livened conversation and was a point of pride for locals.

Now, there's a boring building sitting vacant, the artist gone, the onlookers vanished and nothing left but a pink stucco wall. Why? Why would anyone choose to paint over such an interesting painting to replace it with nothingness? Who did it and why?

The building is for lease now, and one would think it would be up to the new tenants, at least, to have a voice on whether or not to keep the mural. In a Village that fully supports its Arts and Cultural Commission, why would that painting that was on a building used by the city be vanquished to Neverland? 

Gale W. Geurin

Do you agree with Gale? Do you miss the mural on Capitola Avenue? Did you notice it was gone? Is public art vital to Capitola? Tell us in the comments!

Submit your own letter to the editor by sending an email to jacob.bourne@patch.com.

Brad Kava (Editor) August 02, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I'd like to see a picture of the mural...anyone have one??
Beth of Aptos August 02, 2012 at 08:43 PM
My husband and I always park in the public lot behind the police station when we go to the beach in Capitola Village, then walk on down Capitola Avenue. The first time I saw that mural, my reaction was exactly as described. I couldn't believe it was a flat-on-the-wall painting! It was amazing. Why in the world would anyone eradicate it? It definitely was a talking point.
Jacob Bourne (Editor) August 02, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Thanks, Quadia, for sending over a photo of the mural.
Peking August 02, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Life is full of irony. While the city's Arts Commission is paying for murals to be painted on railroad buttresses and having tiles installed on sea walls and retaining walls that the owner of this building painted over the mural. That mural was painted on the building when an art studio and gallery occupied the space.It added a touch of whimsy
David Housings August 03, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Yep, "irony" is inadequate to describe the destruction of that mural. Thanks for the input about its origins. But I wonder why anyone would want to destroy that unique artwork
Dave N August 03, 2012 at 07:27 PM
very sad indeed
Patti Dawson August 03, 2012 at 07:34 PM
I am so sad that a part of the history of Capitola Village has been painted over! That mural has always brightened my day on my daily walks. The Village has always been known to be unique, creative and artsy. Ironic that a piece of art would be deliberately destroyed....ironic indeed!
paisley astor August 03, 2012 at 07:43 PM
This mural was painted by former Capitola resident Manuel Cruz. You would be hard pressed to find a better artist and a nicer person. Here is his website and some of his work: http://manuelcruz.com/
Chuck August 03, 2012 at 11:47 PM
He also did that big mural inside Carpo's in Soquel; one of his earlier works.
Gordon August 04, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Does anyone know why Manuel Cruz's unique 3-D mural was painted over? Technically, I suppose, the owner of the building had the right to destroy it, but why would he/she?
Peking August 04, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Whoever owns that building should be kept out of the Louvre.
David Housings August 06, 2012 at 01:05 AM
There's been an agreement that the loss of the mural is just not right, but no one has answered the one basic question: Why was it painted over, destroyed? Surely, the building owner didn't think it was graffiti, obscene or otherwise inappropriate.
Willow August 06, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Jacob, could you possibly find out, either from City Hall who once occupied the building or the current owner why the mural was destroyed?
Willow August 06, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Peking, do you know why it was removed/destroyed? Seems a strange thing to happen in a town that boasts of an Arts Commission.


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