The Tyler artist whose public graphic was relocated due to neighborhood complaints spoke to CBS 19 during her first on camera interview Tuesday, June 13.
April Moore’s “Hide and Seek” was placed on a utility box as part the City of Tyler’s Beauty and the Box program earlier this year, meant to enhance Tyler’s public spaces.
It was installed in the downtown Azaelea District on the corner of College and Fourth Streets next to Bergfeld Park. The box is city-owned but surrounded by residential homes. Shortly after the box was wrapped, a spokesperson for the City of Tyler said several complaints were lodged.
Residents said the design did not match the style of the area. Moore said she had no idea it had the potential to be controversial.
“It was odd,” soft-spoken Moore said laughing. “I made it of children playing because it was next to a park, where children play.”
She said she simply wanted a piece that all Tylerites could identify with.
“I wanted it to show diversity,” she explained. “I thought it needed to be fair so I picked a cute little black girl and a cute little white boy playing together.”
The City voted to move “Hide and Seek” a few blocks away between Hogg Middle School and Children’s Park facing Broadway Ave. The spokesperson said the neighbors’ reactions were not based on the subject of the image but merely the location.
Moore said it actually turned out to be the perfect decision.
“When an art piece causes conflict it brings everyone to art,” Moore said. “It brings art to the forefront and draws people together.”
On Tuesday, a group that mentors girls in East Texas, “I Am Beautiful,” sold T-shirts featuring Moore’s design for educational sponsorships.
“I’m honored that everyone loves her so much,” Moore said. “I think great things have come from it so I’m thankful that it happened.”
In the future, Beauty and the Box art will only be placed in commercially zoned areas. Pieces will be sponsored by individuals and businesses.
Moore posts her work on Instagram at aprilmooredesignstore, and T-shirts can be bought here.
More information about sponsoring art in the city of Tyler can be found here.