Cherokee Station Business Association
voted 14 to zero last night to write a letter of support for the new graffiti-art murals on El Leñador
at 3124 Cherokee St. (Technically, the building sits outside the CSBA's zone, but not by much).
The murals have stirred up quite a debate
in this burgeoning neighborhood about the nature of art and private property rights; someone has even filed a complaint with the city, Daily RFT
has confirmed. But the consensus at the meeting was one of support -- not necessarily of the art itself, per se
, but rather, of El Leñador's right to even attempt it.
"It's eye-catching," said board member Angelo Stege
pointing out the building's odd pedigree as former German banquet hall
turned Mexican restaurant/concert venue. "It represents Cherokee
perfectly and how strange it is. And I believe we should stand behind
each other as much as possible, so I personally support the mural. Then,
if the owner wants to change something, it's between him and that
Indeed, the the project's organizer, Jenn Carter
of Aisle 1 Gallery
, told those assembled she wants a letter of support to show Ruben Alejandre
, the property manager who gave his consent to the work, that neighbors had his back (he didn't attend the meeting; neither he nor bar manager Johnny Vegas
have chosen to comment to Daily RFT
). Carter added she wants him to be happy with the work.
Another reason she wants a support letter, she said, was to help stave off removal by Brightside St. Louis
, the quasi-public entity that removes graffiti if someone lodges their displeasure.
"It's so much more interesting now," said Jeff Vines
, co-founder of Stylehouse
, which sits a block away from El Leñador. "Before it was one of the most unsightly edifices, and now it's one of the coolest. We don't want to go back to the blank wall. If it's this or nothing, then definitely I support it."
There seemed to be some displeasure among attendees that a huge trash bin across the street was tagged up (see below), but that was left unresolved and didn't seem to sway the vote.