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Boards covering broken windows bear new meaning after protests

'The message still has to be up'
Posted at 4:17 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 20:20:50-04

CINCINNATI — During protests over the past two weeks, some businesses had their windows broken out. Some of the boards that went up over the windows are coming down, while others are getting a fresh paint job with a message.

Artist Michelle Pinales has painted messages on boards designed to protect windows during the protests.

“I’ve done two murals. One on Main Street and one on Vine,” Pinales said. “The last one that I did on Vine Street last week took me 12 hours on Saturday.”

Joni Sherman, executive director of The Play Library on Main Street, asked Pinales to paint over her boards.

“I think it’s amazing to see the community coming together and reaching out, showing in a very visual, physical way,” Sherman said. “I hope they leave them up for a while.”

Ivy Coasta, owner of Sloane in Over-The-Rhine, is leaving her boards up longer, which Pinales also painted.

“3CDC is asking people to take some of the boards down now, but our glass isn’t actually going to be replaced for another week,” Coasta said.

Some Main Street residents, like Emil Robinson, like the painted boards.

“The transformation is complete, because now people have taken over that space which is new, so now the street has a personality,” Robinson said.

Main Street resident John Rice helped Iris Cafe take their boards down. He hopes people don’t forget the meaning behind the art.

“The boards are coming down; the message still has to be up,” Rice said.

Pinales calls the boards “temporary art.”

The answer for when all the boards will be taken down varies -- some places are taking them down now, some are waiting until next week, others just aren’t sure yet. They’re just hoping the messages live on.