Vandals target Cowork Penticton mural

‘Calliope’ is meant to be a simble for weaving separate parts together to form a community

Vandals have struck again in Penticton, this time tagging the recently-painted Cowork Penticton mural sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

The mural, which features a red-headed ethereal woman kneeling in the centre of a flower as hummingbirds circle around her, was dubbed ‘Calliope’ by the shared office space business and its tenants, located at 129 Nanaimo Ave W. Now, the mural features yellow spraypainted script senselessly scrawled over the flower and next to the mural itself.

The mural artist, Skyler Punnett, said ‘Calliope’ was meant to represent bringing the Cowork members, and the general community overall, together.

“I was rebranding Cowork (in 2018), getting their imagery and logo and everything together and when they started, they had the idea of a hummingbird as their logo. So I kind of refined that, showing hummingbirds coming to the feeder and Cowork being the community that everyone kind of hovers around and zeros in on,” said Punnett. “So when they were deciding about the mural, we expanded on that idea so the woman represents Cowork and the hummingbirds flocking around her is about coming together.

“It’s kind of the idea of weaving the separate parts together and creating a community.”

Punnett co-owns the design agency Super Deluxe Creative, which creates some of the beer labels for Penticton’s breweries along with its other works.

READ MORE: Penticton RCMP and residents look for vandals responsible for late-night graffiti

He said that he has done a number of murals but Cowork’s was the largest he has been commissioned to do so far.

“It took between 40 to 50 hours to design and paint the mural, so I started it in September or October 2018 and I completed it in about April or May of this year,” said Punnett. “So it hasn’t even been there for even a year.”

He said when he agreed to paint the mural, he knew there was a possibility it could be vandalized, but said that kind of goes against the “unwritten moral code” in the street art community.

“Public art is always open to the threat of vandalism. It’s sort of an unwritten rule that any sort of graffiti or street artist doesn’t tag other people’s work, especially if it’s other artists,” said Punnett. “So it doesn’t say much for the people who tagged it. It had been tagged once before during the early stages when I was roughing it in, but that was easy to deal with because it hadn’t been painted yet so I just painted over that.”

Punnett said the fix this time won’t be so easy, since the yellow spraypaint used to graffiti the art goes “right over the most complex part of the mural” which means “all of the different colours will need to be remixed” to paint over it.

Furthermore, Punnett said he likely won’t be able to fix this vandalism until the spring because cold weather makes exterior painting nearly impossible.

Though it is infuriating, he said he is not discouraged and had actually received notification on the same day he learned of the vandalism that he has been approved to paint a mural nearly double the size of Calliope — “so it’s two steps forward and one step back, but it’s still moving forward.”

According to a Facebook post by Cowork Penticton, the city’s bylaw service and the Downtown Penticton Association were extremely helpful in responding to the incident, and alerted Pure Pressure Graffiti Removal who were able to remove the portion of the graffiti that was on the “plain wall.”

“We still plan to keep beautifying our building in the face of mindless vandalism,” states the Facebook post.

Anyone with information about the vandalism of the mural outside of Cowork Penticton is asked to contact the Penticton RCMP Detachment at 250-492-4300.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Truck, Shuswap police vehicle collide during arrest of wanted man

Emergency response team and helicopter called out to assist in Chase area arrest

COVID 19: Secwépemc Nation calls for better notification processes

Chiefs say alerts for First Nations bands from province, Interior Health flawed

Salmon Arm Silverbacks face off against Vees in first of BCHL exhibition games

Games part of extended training camp leading to regular season start in December

Shuswap search and rescue crew respond to dirt biker injured on Mount Ida

North Vancouver man transported to hospital for treatment of injuries

Kelowna filmmaker launches fundraiser for ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ fan movie

Donations will go towards the production of ‘The Sawyer Massacre’

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Stolen vehicle recovered from site of Vernon manhunt for wanted man

Police return to Brooks Lane in response to reports of suspicious vehicle

Popular South Okanagan cafe shuts its doors

Saint Germaine Cafe and Gallery served its last latte Sept. 19

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kelowna woman to run from Vernon to Penticton for mental health awareness

Melissa Gosse’s 100-kilometre ultramarathon will raise funds for Canadian Mental Health Association

Film that explores themes of missing Indigenous women to screen in Kelowna

Rustic Oracle is the story of a missing teenage Indigenous girl, told through the eyes of her seven-year-old sister

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Most Read