Local artist offers to paint over Marsh's mock road sign art

Published: Jul. 8, 2013 at 3:04 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2013 at 3:06 AM CDT
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The words on them may have no real rhyme or reason but the very individualized, artsy road signs placed around Amarillo have served as part of the community's identity for years. But very soon, locals may notice something else painted on some of those signs, instead of just words.

At the "okay" of the homeowners, local artist Jacob Morin has spent the last several weeks… covering the words of nearly a dozen signs with his own artwork.

"Knocking on people's doors, not telling them about the thing and just saying hey do you mind if I do this," said Morin.

One of those homeowners is Glenda Daniels, but it wasn't the words on her sign that made her want it covered up.  It was the man who put it there.

"She said Stanley Marsh had done it and I really wanted it down but it's cemented in the ground and there's really no way to get it down," said Daniels.

The man best know for creating Cadillac Ranch, Stanley Marsh 3, is also responsible for creating and placing those bizarre road signs all around town years ago.  Over time, Marsh's name was dirtied with lawsuit after lawsuit claiming he sexually abused young boys.  A negative image, Glenda felt, that read louder than the words on her sign.

"The situation with Stanley Marsh," she said. "All of the background and all of his problems and I just didn't want anything with connection in my yard to him."

Other homeowners disagreed though, and said it's not about the message if there's a message at all. But that those iconic signs are simply about the art.

"I don't want my sign painted," said Amarillo resident Jan Douglas.

Jan Douglass has had her sign for some 18 years, she even met Stanley Marsh when they came out to put it up.

"It was a real iconic thing to have one of those signs and so we were just real pleased just to always have it," said Douglass.

For her, Marsh's misfortune has nothing to do with the signs left behind. They're Amarillo's art, for the community and the world.

"People have stopped by, take pictures of them. I talked to them, mostly tourists," said Douglass. "People hear about them all over the world and I think it's something that makes us a little unique."

A uniqueness and history, no doubt, but one some would prefer to have covered rather than exposed.

"Do you think this will take away any of the uniqueness of the signs?" NewsChannel 10 asked Daniels. "No, definitely not," said answered. "I think what he's doing will make it more unique than ever."

"We shouldn't just tear it down because someone doesn't like the person who had something to do with it," argued Douglass. "It's in their yard and if people want it to go then that's their choice but it's art. It's just part of the art of the history of our town so I think, I don't think they need to be painted over."

Morin plans to continue painting his own signature art on more and more of the signs around town, which is legal, if permission is obtained from the homeowner or landowner the sign belongs to at that time.