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Student Mural Leads to Controversy - Again. - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Student Mural Leads to Controversy - Again.

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A mural is causing some controversy in downtown Charlottesville. Students at Tandem Friends School have transformed an exterior building wall into their canvas for the second time. City planners are stepping in, again.

A group of students from Tandem Friends School are painting a Native American mural on west Main Street. Random Row Books commissioned the artwork.

The city of Charlottesville says the mural is in a historic district, and needs to be presented to the Board of Architectural Review (BAR).

Charlottesville Spokesperson Ric Barrick says they're not sure a citation will be issued. The city says they've left a message with the school's headmaster and haven't gotten a call back. They've also talked to the building owner who will ask the owner of the store to submit an application to the Board of Architectural Review (BAR).

Jay Kuhlmann, an English teacher at Tandem Friends School said, "I thought they had changed the law. And maybe that's the case, but what we heard about this mural is that we are in a historic district. I didn't know that."

Some students said that they hope the city doesn't white-wash their work away.

Jennings Rice,  a Tandem student reasoned, "I do not want it to be painted over because we've spent a lot of time on it already."

Another student, Jack Ronayne, added, "A couple people, who have been walking by, have noticed the painting and have said how beautiful it is."

Tolbert pointed out that this snag could be a learning experience for the Tandem artists. He said, "It's a great opportunity to have an application before the BAR and have the kids come in and explain what they're doing and ask permission to do that."

Tolbert pointed out that this snag could be a learning experience for the Tandem artists. He said, "It's a great opportunity to have an application before the BAR and have the kids come in and explain what they're doing and ask permission to do that."

This is the second time a Tandem Friends School mural has caused an issue. Last year a mural on the side of Richmond Camera was cited for violating the city's sign ordinance, that decision was later reversed.

As for this mural, the BAR would have to determine if it is appropriate. The group of students will keep working on the project, they hope to finish Friday.

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