Texas is the epicenter of Selena fandom. After all, the Queen of Tejano was born in Corpus Christi, and the state boasts both a museum and a yearly festival honoring her memory. Texas is also home to numerous murals depicting the late star. Unfortunately, in Brownsville – a city ~160 miles south of Selena’s hometown – vandals continue to deface a mural dedicated to the singer. According to NBC DFW, the work’s currently covered in deep scratches.
Back in the fall of 2016, 20 artists came together to paint two dozen new murals – including one of Frida Kahlo – as part of the Capitol Theater Street Art Competition, which coincided with the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival. The works brought some much needed color to the streets of downtown Brownsville, but it also brought pride to the community. It took more than six months to bring the project to life, and many local families and individuals contributed their time to make it possible, according to The Brownsville Herald.
Vandals tagged 14 of the almost 24 murals in mid-February, emblazoning “NY NY” and other phrases on the pieces. The artists went back and fixed them. But not long after, the vandals returned – causing more permanent damage to six murals. Fabiola Muñoz, a University of Texas Rio Grande Valley art student who contributed to the project, told The Brownsville Herald, “It’s clear that this person has some issues. I feel bad for all of my colleagues who went back to fix them on Saturday and on Monday realized they were damaged with carved Xs on them.”
Many other artists expressed similar sentiments. But Cristina Garza, who also worked on the murals, said that the artists would continue to fix the artwork. “My friends and I are devastated that our murals were vandalized once again,” Garza said. “However, we will persevere in painting and repairing the murals despite how many times they’re vandalized. Overall, we were blessed with the opportunity to make our community more beautiful with our creativity.”