Graffiti Turns Eyesore Into Art

ARLINGTON, TX — Usually graffitiing walls is discouraged by city authorities, but for the last two years at the old Park Place Shopping Center in Arlington, it’s been a huge part of beautifying a once decaying structure.

“We got started out here a couple of years ago when we posted a picture of a wall that we thought at the time was pretty much the ugliest wall in Arlington,” said Mark Joeckel, the founder of Arlington Proud. “And about 19 artists responded that they wanted to be involved in painting the mural.”

Saturday, Phase 2 of the mural project got kicked into gear.

“It’s a community gathering event,” said Joeckel. “We’ve been working on the follow-up to the killing of the police officers in Dallas and gathering the community together so we can keep themes of peace and unity and work together and the diverse nature of our community and keep those relationships going so we can be a peaceful, unified community. And that’s what we’re doing here is getting the mural ready to create the Park Plaza Peace Pavilion.”

Even early on a dreary Saturday morning dozens turned out to clear weeds, pick up trash and prep the walls for the new memorial mural.

“It’s just fantastic to see everybody out here together,” Joeckel said. “Because people truly do want to get to know each other, understand one another and the different backgrounds that we all come from and make Arlington known as that place that brings peace and unity among all the different groups that live here.”

And it just goes to show with some hard work, imagination and a little paint an eyesore of a problem can turn into something worth preserving.