Garage door mural that sparked debate in gated community painted over

Garage door mural that sparked debate in gated community painted over

Though the mural violated regulations, Bergen and many of his neighbours had hoped it could remain.

Last week the Morning Star published a story about a mural that sparked quite the debate in Vernon.

Rudy Bergen is a resident of Desert Cove Estates. He painted a mural on his garage that, though it violates community regulations, he hoped could remain. He received 35 letters of support from neighbours and 65 signatures on a petition.

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The story began last summer when his daughter Kim Bergen and his granddaughter Makena Hyde visited. They decided to create an elaborate chalk drawing on his driveway at Desert Cove Estates in Vernon. Using an existing painting of the farm Bergen grew up on in Saskatoon as a reference, they went to work.

Eventually, vibrant colours engulfed his driveway. To his surprise, he thought they did a good job — better than he expected. This year when they visited again — even though it defied Desert Cove regulations — they decided to try their luck with paint. People seemed to like it, so he kept it. As summer turned to fall, Bergen adjusted the colours on the scene to match. He had hoped he could make it through the year but wasn’t so lucky.

When the strata approached Bergen regarding the violation, he — and many neighbours — hoped to convince Desert Cove to let it stay. Ultimately, they were unsuccessful.

Bergen said that because he enjoys living at there — even though he did not want to do it — he decided to paint over his art with an approved charcoal black. Now only one small part of the mural remains… the dog.

“I really liked the dog when it first appeared so could not bring myself to cover him and we have a lot of dog lovers out here so they are really happy,” said Bergen. “I got a letter on Friday thanking me for painting it over and they never said anything about the dog so I’m hoping it can stay.”

He also said that people have approached him saying how disappointed they were to see the art disappear.

“There was lots of sadness,” he said. “Some people even drove out to see it after the article came out and one even rang my doorbell and were upset because they saw the story in the paper and drove out immediately hoping to see it.”

When asked if he had considered painting another mural he said, “Well, maybe. You never know when inspiration will hit.”

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Garage door mural that sparked debate in gated community painted over

Garage door mural that sparked debate in gated community painted over

Garage door mural that sparked debate in gated community painted over