Artist Faring Purth Begins Massive Cherokee Street Mural; Detractors Call It Racist, Sexist

Categories: Arts

Allison Babka
The beginning of Faring Purth's new mural on Cherokee Street.
Purth is no stranger to detractors so early in the artistic process. Her 125-foot long mural Etty in Rochester, New York, was promptly defaced with a red spray-painted "Jesus" and a cross.

"It was a profoundly difficult experience for me; That after giving so much to a single piece of work, she could, with one cheap can of Rustoleum, be so grossly wounded," Purth told the Brooklyn Street Art blog.

Purth is painting her mural on the south wall of Nebula coworking space, a hub attracting tech geeks and artists alike from all over the region. The wall was originally blocked by another building, but now, a very well-lit parking lot makes the spot perfect for street art, says Spencer.

See also: New Street-Art Mural on Cherokee: Can it Last?

"She just sort of fell in love with the wall and asked if she could paint it," Spencer remembers. "We were like, hell ya, of course you can. We really liked what she does. We took a risk."

Nebula helped finance some of Purth's work, although the artist is still looking for donations. WJL Properties paid for the diesel-fueled boom she needs to reach the top of the mural 40 feet high*. Spencer says Purth got free artistic license as long as her work wasn't too offensive for their family-friendly workplace.

Spencer says she's inspired, not offended or insulted, by the figure Purth has started.
"It's really interesting how art can speak to people differently and rile people up," Spencer says. "This has been, personally, a really exciting project for me."

*Correction: This story originally credited Nebula Coworking with buying the boom.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at

Location Info


Nebula Coworking

3407 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: General

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