Friday, March 29, 2013
The slate is clean — literally — in the brouhaha over the giant octopus mural above the Inland Octopus toy store.
On Thursday the city of Walla Walla, after more than two years of legal wrangling, painted over the mural that violated the downtown sign code specifically because of its humongous size.
If toy store owner Bob Catsiff wants to paint another cute and whimsical mural (or anything else he desires) above his store, he is free to do so as long as he follows the necessary steps required by law and conforms to the restrictions imposed by the sign code. That did not happen.
This dispute has never been about the artistic worth or quality of the mural or its content.
It did not matter what the image looked like or what message it conveyed. If a wine shop had a mural-used-as-sign of a vineyard or wine bottles but it was bigger than allowed by the sign code it would be a no-go.
The painting as art was good. The concept was clever, charming and a lot of fun. And the mural was excellent as a sign as it did convey the spirit of the toy store below.
We would like to see Catsiff put up another fun (albeit smaller) sign/mural at 7 E. Main St. and use the artist who painted the mural in over the Labor Day Weekend of 2010.
If Catsiff goes in this direction — and we hope he does — he and city officials need to work together to make sure everything is in proper order before one drop of paint is put on that wall. Nobody wants to go through this kind of episode again.
The octopus mural dispute is over. It is time for everybody in the community to let it go. The slate is clean.
The possibilities are endless over a toy store.