October 31, 2020

‘Pixels’ vandalized

The newly-installed public art was vandalized on Nov. 11. Currently, the police have no suspects. (Tim Lee / Photo Editor)
The newly-installed public art was vandalized on Nov. 11. Currently, the police have no suspects. (Tim Lee / Photo Editor)

By Caitlyn Camacho

Last week the controversial “Pixels” public art project was vandalized just a week after its installation caused campus-wide debate.

“The public art display adjacent to the new Art and Interactive Multimedia Building has been the subject of a great deal of debate and discussion. Matthew Golden, executive director of public relations and communications, said. “The discourse related to that art has been both questioning and informative. At times, it has been undeniably humorous. There is, however, neither humor nor intellectual value in the act of vandalism that has taken place.”

According to Campus Police, the vandalism was discovered by Sgt. Raymond Scully at 2 a.m. on Nov. 11.

(Tim Lee / Photo Editor)
(Tim Lee / Photo Editor)

Scully was performing routine foot patrol on campus when he discovered black spray paint around the circumference of the blue pixel, reports said.

A check of the other three balls revealed spray paint on the purple pixel as well. The purple pixel had a solid circle as well as the Greek letters “?” and “?” spray painted on it. Scully observed no one in the area at the time.

Because spray paint was used and the balls were wet from rain, no latent prints were able to be lifted, Sgt. Mike Bell said.

Campus police said they have no suspects at this time but the case is still open and under investigation.

According to Bell, the presence of Greek letters does not necessarily mean the organization they belong to is responsible for the vandalism and it could be anyone on campus.

“It is inexcusable and very disappointing,” said Golden of the vandalism.

According to Angela Chong, associate dean of students and director of student conduct, any kind of vandalism violates what is acceptable at the College.

According to Chong, if Campus Police were to pass a report on to the office of Student Affairs with a named suspect, that person would be charged for violating standards at the College.

The College has “no tolerance” for the destruction of campus property, Chong said.

She also said part of the judicial process would be to determine how to educate that person and figure out how they can make reparations for their actions.

By Thursday morning, the spray paint had been removed from the spheres.

According to Kenneth Oliver, crew supervisor of building maintenance workers from Grounds and Landscape Services, the removal of the spray paint was delegated to the College’s paint shop.

The paint shop buffed the spheres with ArmorAll, a product that will give the artwork added protection, said Pete Ratzlaff, Crew Supervisor Carpenter / Paint Shop.

If anyone has any information regarding this case they can contact Campus Police at (609)-771-2345.

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