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Creator of Bella Vista's Autumn Mural Saddened by Townhouse Development

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Usually when you see scaffolding against a wall featuring muralist David Guinn's art, he's up on the scaffolding himself in paint-spattered pants, his red hair tousled from the wind, working on reinventing a sea of blank concrete. But the scaffolding against his Autumn mural at Ninth and Bainbridge right now tells a different story: the impending obstruction, by a townhouse, of a beloved piece.

"I am really sad about the mural getting covered over," Guinn says. "It is my favorite mural that I've painted; it was a part of me." On the bright side, though, Guinn was inspired by the activism the mural inspired. "The fight the neighbors put up was awesome," he says. Bella Vista residents raised $250,000 to try to buy the lot from the developer, but the developer's attorney, David Orphanides, told the Associated Press that his client's profit would be closer to $600,000. "It's commerce," he told the AP in October.

Guinn has been designing and painting public murals for 13 years now, and they're everywhere from Washington, D.C., to Montreal. But the majority of his work—including the "Four Seasons" series that Autumn is a part of—has been done for Philly's Mural Arts Program. He did the mural of neighborhood pets on the side of the Morris Animal Refuge in Center City. He did a double-wall mural on Baltimore Ave. in West Philadelphia, which had its own website for a while. His mural called Welcome to the Neighborhood, which you see crossing over the Schuylkill from the South Street bridge, has an image of Guinn himself standing there, immortalized on one of his walls—for now.

For the moment, he's taking comfort in what will be left of Autumn. "Part of the mural will still be visible from behind the house," he says, "to jog the memory of what it originally was."

Here's a gallery of Guinn's other Philly murals.