Potter’s House Mural Painted Over in Adams Morgan

1658 Columbia Road, NW

From the artist:

“To everybody,

I want to let you know that the Potter’s House Mural, “The Light of the World,” is gone. It was painted over with beige paint today Tuesday October 13, 2014 between 1:00 and 4:00 pm. The first coat was applied at around 1:00 pm and the second coat was applied between 3:00 and 4:00 pm.

I just want to say thank you to all the people who supported the mural. Thank you for your letters of support and your gracious comments supporting the preservation of the mural. I guess all of these signs of support and appreciation were not enough to save it. However, I am very thankful to all of you for your support! Thanks to all of you who signed the electronic petition and the paper petition and who gave me moral support. There was not a day that went by without a person stopping me on Columbia Road or calling me on the phone or emailing me, asking me about the status of the mural and giving me words of encouragement and telling me they hoped the mural would stay. This means a lot to me! I feel very thankful to have seen all of these signs of support and appreciation.

I did delivered the electronic petition and the comments in favor of preserving the mural to the President of the Board of Directors and asked her to give it to all the Board Members. They told me that all the board members got the package with the comments of the petition and that they would review it. They even formed a committee to review the decision on the mural.
But now the mural is gone.

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you so very much for all your support! Thanks to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for their letter of support. (I delivered your letter to the Board of Directors of the Potter’s House). Thanks to all the newspapers who wrote articles about the Potter’s House Mural! Thanks to John Carter for your wonderful letter of Support and to all who wrote letters!

I will make a postcard with the picture of the mural to remember the image of the candle. The mural served a good purpose, which was to bring joy to people and they told me that the mural touched the hearts of people, so in that regard, I am glad and I am content that my purpose as an artist was fulfilled. I will post videos of the mural on my website www.Karlisima.com very soon. Thank you all! May God bless you all! And may the Universal Light keep shining on, in our hearts. May the Light prevail forever.

Truly yours, a friend and a servant of the arts,

-Karlisima Rodas – Israel”

15 Comment

  • I admit that when the mural was first painted, knowing no context, I thought it was unattractive, and I felt further deterred from visiting Potter’s House because it made the place seem more religious, which is not my scene. But reading the coverage about it, and how many people loved it, and how the artist really put her heart into it, touched my heart. I hope she has more opportunities to share her art in the District, for people to enjoy.

  • I’ve liked some of Karlisima’s murals, but I’ve never been a fan of this one. So I can’t say I’m sorry to see it go.

  • It’s been interesting to follow how this artist reacted to her artwork being covered and to how Aniekan dealt with his Marvin Gaye mural being covered down on U Street. Not saying one is right or wrong, just an interesting study in contrasts.

  • It wasnt the mural keeping people out of this place. If anything it was more charming before their generic facade upgrades. But beneath that facade is still an establishment that thinks Jesus Christ is our lord and savior. Who wants to sit and have a coffee or buy a book in that sort of atmosphere. Im sure they welcome all but who wants to get chatted up about Christ when yr just trying to have a coffee and read the paper

    • Try extending more tolerance to folks who have a different belief system than you do.

    • I can tell you this, as someone who grew up going there and having been both inside and outside the community around it: It was never the outlook of the Potter’s House Church to ‘chat up’ or proselytize anyone who came in during the day for a meal, a cup of coffee, or to look at the books. I never saw it happen and I was there quite a bit from my childhood years to my early adulthood. Try having some tolerance or at least checking it out before you judge outright.

      • I met someone affiliated with that place who used to drive around with a bumper sticker that said “Real Men Love Jesus.” So if I’m male and I don’t love Jesus I’m not a real man? So spare us the tolerance plea. At least until you can make it without hypocrisy.

        • No one’s forcing you to look at the bumper of someone else’s car. If you want to be offended, that’s your choice, not his.

          How is hypocrisy on MY part to ask for tolerance? Judging a place by ONE person is short-sighted and, ultimately, bigoted.

          • That’s the sound of the point going over your head.
            Anyway, this guy and his wife used to tell anyone who would listen that they were deeply involved in the leadership of this place, so, yeah, if the leadership there is intolerant, then criticizing others for intolerance is in fact hypocrisy.

        • Okay. So now you have gone to “I’m sure they try to convert you if you go in there, even though I have never been in there” to “I met this guy who had a bumper sticker that I didn’t agree with, and because he was involved with PH, I am dissing him and the entire place, even though I have never been in there.” Your real problem is that you are totally intolerant. And none of that has anything to do with the mural. The artist could have painted unicorns and rainbows, and you still would have griped that a church had something to do with it. Sounds like a personal whinge to me, dude.

        • Because people never ever ever have bumper stickers professing their love for a cause or anything? Little did I know that my bumper sticker for the New York Giants could be offensive!!!

          Real Men Love Jesus….oh my god! The horror! I mean….I must not be a real man because I don’t really follow closely to the church! I must take this to heart! Every single bumper sticker to heart!

          You sir or madam, with the baby on board bumper sticker, I must confess that I do not have a kid. You having one makes me feel less like an adult and depresses me. Please remove it!

  • I for one will be shocked if a “new concept” or whatever they are doing over there will have any impact on the # of people through the door. Religion is not a growth industry especially when it’s “beige”…

    • Totally agree with you on the biege concept…..hope they get Banksy to protest the painting-over-the-mural thing and have him paint something in response on the front. Tim, Brennan and I are Banksy fans.

  • Hi guys! Interesting conversation…
    I managed the PH for 15 years and handed it over to a group of younger, more diverse folks for re-birth. The spirituality surrounding the Potter’s House is Christian AND expansive, active, outwardly focused as well as inwardly focused. Tim, one of the new managers, interned at Sojourners, http://www.sojo.net and the community launching the new PH is http://www.8th-day.org, a progressive community of activist and pray-ers that hope for justice and peace both inside and out. Since I arrived in DC in 1993 for social work school, my conversations in the Potter’s House spanned the gamut about gentrification, racism, classism, poverty, Israel/Palestine, materialism, politics, homelessness, mental illness, liberation theology causing revolution in Latin America (older topic), New Jim Crow-ism in our prison system, etc. Knowing the new group very well, I know that these conversations will continue in a fresh and pertinent way.

    I was one of Karlisima’s biggest supporters of this mural and was excited to have a (in my opinion) non-religious symbol of hope instead of some wordy mission statement in front of our building. It is a loss for me but death is a part of resurrection and I am hopeful for how the PH community of neighborhood folks (me included, with the death of my own role there) will be made new by this Sabbath renewal time.

    The Potter’s House reference comes from Jeremiah and was selected well before Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and other recent myopic evangelical preachers came along. The reference is meant to invite us into the Potter’s House space where we will “hear the voice of God” for change in our world, for change within us, listening to each other, from silence, from taking a break in a “third place” – the coffee house, not home, not work, but a displaced place where the unexpected can happen. Millard Fuller and his wife came by on their way from secure jobs in the city to Americus, GA to start Habitat for Humanity…..Jim Dickerson, our own urban Millard Fuller, came to the Potter’s House and was inspired to begin MannaDC – Habitat for the city. There are soooooo many more stories like these. Please stay tuned.

Comments are closed.