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"We are Joplin" logos appear on sidewalks throughout downtown - KOAM TV 7

"We are Joplin" logos appear on sidewalks throughout downtown

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Imagine owning a shop and finding out there was graffiti outside it.  That's what happened to many downtown Joplin business owners Friday morning.

A stenciled "We are Joplin" logo was painted on sidewalks and was believed to be done during last night's Third Thursday festivities, and while some are curious where it came from, others say they love the new beautiful additions.

"I was like 'oh, I wonder what this is'", says Heather Grills, the owner of Phoenix Fired Art, a fired clay shop.  "Maybe it's emphasizing the good things that are going on in Joplin."

The mysterious logo appeared in front of Newton's Jewelry, Christman's Event Center, Wood and Wire Guitars, Mystery Church and a few others.

"We're not just a disaster area, we have lots of cool things going on here and I think maybe, maybe, it's to point those things out to us," says Grills.

But some of the business owners say they aren't too thrilled about it.

"The city has done too much downtown to keep it looking nice for someone to come and mess it up," says Bunny Newton, owner of Newton's Jewelry.  "We appreciate what has been done for it and we hate to see it messed up."

Newton says that this isn't the first time he's seen art outside the shop.

"The last Thursday it was chalk paint, but this is paint, this one out here on ours so you can't wash it off," says Newton.

While the opinions of the art vary, the question on everyone's mind is the same:  Who is doing this and why?

"I'd like to know why they're doing it and I really don't think they should do something permanent like that on our sidewalks," says Newton.

"We'll just have to see how it unfolds, how the mystery painter reveals him or herself or not," says Grills.

Most businesses we spoke with say they enjoyed the sense of community through the sidewalk art.

The City of Joplin says they do not know who painted it.

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