By Janet Dodrill
In the small quaint town of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a charming art center (art gallery, gift shop and classroom facility) known as Valley Art Center had a unique, artistic exterior mural done by three professional artists depicting a gallery wall.
Though the painted wall contained no words, only imagery, the city claimed that the mural was sending a ‘message’ which meant it was considered a ‘sign’ and ordered it removed because it was in violation of their zoning code. Signs in that town need to be 12 feet and smaller and the mural was clearly larger.
Many attempts were made to try to save the mural — local artists and art center officials attended town meetings, but to no avail.
The art center turned an unfortunate situation around. They agreed to replace the mural with one that satisfied the laws of village according to their code.
They are currently in the process of selecting a new design through a public Call To Entry process. And the city agreed to write mural guidelines into the sign code.
Soon the art center will have a new mural designed by an artist and for the public to enjoy for years to come.
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