Dafford to Return for Mural Maintenance
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - Artist Robert Dafford will return to Paducah this summer to restore three of his painted murals along Paducah's floodwall.
The announcement was made during a meeting of the Paducah City Commission Tuesday night, after an ordinance to allow artist Herb Roe to restore the murals was tabled by Commissioner Carol Gault.
Dafford made the decision to restore the murals himself, and sent his proposal to the city only an hour before the meeting, seemingly in order to avoid controversy, after some members of the community took issue with a local artist's mural maintenance proposal. An online petition had been circulated by friends and fellow artists who wanted the City to allow maintenance to be done by local qualified artists. Paducah City Attorney David Denton explained to the audience that because Dafford is the creator of the images, his proposal gets preference.
Among the concerns that Robert Dafford had was that the artist stated in her proposal that she was 'certified' in the Robert Dafford style and technique, and had previously worked 'independently' and 'self-directed' on Dafford restoration projects. While there is no questioning that she has worked on Dafford restorations, Dafford sent word to the Commissioners and Mayor saying, "The local artist and muralist who submitted the proposal to take over mural maintenances of my images has assisted us working alongside Herb Roe and me. I want to do my own repaints. I will be in Paducah to insure the integrity of my art."
Local artist Lady Van Tiger says the issue is the heart of VARA, enacted in 1990 (Visual Artists Rights Act) which states that an artist has the right to choose those who restore their work. Van Tiger also said that artists don't invest in their craft so they can restore the artworks of others.
Herb Roe will be in Paducah to restore the copyrighted images with Robert Dafford. They may hire Evita Lynne, a Paducah School of Art student who assisted Roe last year in the floodwall mural restoration. Cole addressed the Mayor and Commissioners in appreciation of the opportunity she had last summer to assist Roe. It has been almost ten years since Roe and Dafford have been in Paducah painting on the Paducah Wall to Wall Floodwall Mural project at the same time.
A number of local artists attended the meeting in support of the artist who submitted the proposal, saying that she is extremely talented, and they had no doubts that she would be able to handle the restoration.
City Manager Jeff Pederson will lead an effort to determine criteria for future mural restoration.