Local artist says stolen mural is a community loss, pleads for its return

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A local artist is pleading for her mural’s return after police say it was stolen from a fence in the Starland District.

The 6-by-6-foot mural was taken off a fence on Bull Street near W. 31st Lane, according to the Savannah Police Department, and reported missing on Feb. 4.

“Just bring it back,” said Nae’Keisha Jones, the artist who painted the mural.

Jones isn’t really sure why someone would steal her artwork. She says every detail was painted with purpose, and it’s the community’s loss more than anything.

“A lot of my pieces focus on showcasing natural hair whether it’s straight, curly or long,” said Jones, “because I didn’t see a lot of that highlighted, necessarily, when I was growing up.”

The mural was created as part of the Starland Mural Project. Taking part in the project and getting paid for it was a rare opportunity for Jones.

The vibrant colors and smiling children symbolize connection, making “Hello Neighbor” a very fitting title.

“In the mural, there were literally like characters lifting each other up, they’re like climbing into boxes, they’re handing out little abstract things of food,” said Jones.

“I wanted to put them in this space where they’re literally learning things and imagining this new place,” she added.

Jones is an illustrator by education and her passion lies with children’s books. She says the characters were inspired by the Magic Treehouse series, and Jones even got a Twitter shoutout from the author.

Jones hoped her art would be seen, interpreted and admired. When it went missing, she was in shock.

“These opportunities don’t come around often. Like really, why?” asked Jones.

Jones says her artwork, wherever it is, is probably damaged because it was ripped from the fence.

“There’s still pieces of it at the bottom,” she said, pointing at the ground.

Police ask anyone with information on the whereabouts of the stolen art or any other helpful information to contact Savannah-Chatham CrimeStoppers or call detectives at 912-657-8641.

“Just return the mural,” said Jones, “it’s not that serious for you to steal, that’s actually defeating the purpose of it being out here.”

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