David Witt's cool Stillwater PBR mural painted over just before completion [PHOTOS]

stillwatermural.jpg
David Witt
Witt's mural looked like this shortly before it was scrubbed from existence.
On May 29, David Witt was riding high. After two weeks of work, the full-time illustrator was just about to wrap up the sponsored Pabst Blue Ribbon mural he was painting on the rail car outside the Freight House bar and restaurant in Stillwater.

Witt took to Twitter that afternoon and updated his progress:

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But Witt was in for a rude awakening when he woke up yesterday and checked Facebook: We touched base with Witt shortly after he saw that his mural had been painted over. Initially, he assumed the city was responsible.

"I made the whole mural and I don't even know how much time I put into it," Witt said. "I was maybe two hours away from finishing it and I was going to do that tomorrow."

But we found out the story was a little more complicated than that when we got in touch with Stillwater City Planner Abbi Jo Wittman later in the day.

Wittman explained that the city was responsible in a sense, but ultimately the call to cover up the mural yesterday was made by Freight House management.

"On May 6, the city had an anonymous inquiry about a mural being painted at the Freight House on a box car, and all the murals and graphic design signs in downtown require a Design Review Permit and a Special Use Permit," Wittman told us. "I sent a community service officer over that day but there was nobody on site and we were unable to figure out who is doing the work, so we sent an email to the Freight House indicating that they needed a permit."

A little over a week later, the city received a permit application from the Freight House. In the application, management proposed allowing Witt to finish the mural he'd already started. That design, however, didn't pass muster with the city's Heritage Preservation Commission.

(For more, click to page two.)



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28 comments
tjreiter2001
tjreiter2001

Tell the artist to go to Hudson Wisconsin. Not only will his artwork be appreciated, but the people there are TRUE beer drinkers.I'm sure it would be seen as an asset to their community verses, an eye sore, like it sounds it was viewed in Stillwater.  THEIR LOSS

Deb Odenwald Woyke
Deb Odenwald Woyke

Okay, so everyone isn't into beer-can chic. It might look good in Texas.

Eleventh-Wundr Art
Eleventh-Wundr Art

what a bummer! government wins again, lame. (Don't worry, I got a permit to post this comment)

Matt Vangsgard
Matt Vangsgard

That's what happens when you paint stillwater bro.

PWT55
PWT55

I don't think this is an issue of money as some here have suggested. The mural looked like a cartoon depicting the Old West. I can see why Stillwater feels it is not suited for downtown. Had the permit been applied for prior to painting the mural, Witt and Freight House would have known this and could have changed the design. Still, it's sad to see all of his hard work be covered up and his time wasted like that.

eatereater
eatereater

Poor Dwitt.  I'm not going to be sad that a cruddy ad of sorts for GMO enhanced PBR got painted over though.  Don't be promoting the crud that is SABMiller, Dwitt. Same company that avoided paying $20 million in corporate tax in Africa among many, many, many other faults.  Use your brain! 

Lori White
Lori White

Thanks Stillwater, how did the mural on Len's and the mural on the corner of Main and Myrtle get approved? Had he had enough money he could have just paid some people off and finished it. But because someone with more money complained, they shut him down. Let's not forget to thank the Freight House...

Stacy Olson
Stacy Olson

wow. the art is incredible. and im so sorry to hear how the city & the business handled it. they could have had good publicity from this. instead they got "bad". have no desire to go to stillwater to see a brown freight car at whatever the name of that place is. used to be one of my fav. places downtown, too.

DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

6th. District.



Don't tread on me, my ass.

Rick Miller
Rick Miller

Common sense rule of thumb-Is it ok to do this? If not, what needs to be obtained to make it ok

robert.moffitt
robert.moffitt

Art, like fame, is fleeting. He'll likely get more notice (and commissions) now then if the mural had been allowed.

KungFuPunch
KungFuPunch

@atrupar I'm a fan of Dwitt and heard about this on his Instagram. Total bullshit

Chillyo
Chillyo

Stupid bureaucrats getting in the way of something fun.  

lonesomedrifter666
lonesomedrifter666

Stillwater caters to people with money willing to spend their day in town shopping, eating and antiquing. They have a reputation to uphold. Which I find sickening that someone as creative as you can't paint a mural on privately owned property without the city telling you what can be painted and not painted. Fascists!

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