Murals whitewashed in Mt. Vernon as feud gains momentum
A group of artists are accusing their former landlord of painting over their murals in Mount Vernon.
Chris Vinson, the founder of the Mes Hall in Mount Vernon, was just about to leave the building Saturday afternoon and drive to a nearby store when he found a man whitewashing his art collective's paintings.
It comes just two days after Vinson spoke to News 12 about a roadblock he found on the property, installed to bar artists from getting inside Mes Hall.
The conflict started in February when former landlord and Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Spiezio, told Vinson that the owners planned on selling the building. Vinson and his art collective say they received a formal eviction notice on Friday, after the roadblock placed.
“They promised us a lot of things that didn't happen and then when we were holding him to his promises, this is what he does, because he can't fulfill his end of the bargain,” Vinson told News 12.
Joseph Spiezio accuses Vinson of not paying to use the space. When asked if he sent someone to whitewash the paintings, Spiezio said, “This is a civil matter and the building was sold. As stated on behalf of the new owners, there are no leases and they are trespassing. It is also illegal to put graffiti in Mount Vernon.”
Vinson says that he and the artists have been exploited. He set up a Change.org campaign to save Mes Hall.