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New artwork replaces anti-Semitic graffiti on historic Kalispell silos

New artwork replaces anti-Semitic graffiti on historic Kalispell silos
New artwork replaces anti-Semitic graffiti on historic Kalispell silos
Posted at 11:39 AM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 13:39:34-04

The historic silos near downtown Kalispell were recently hit with anti-Semitic vandalism and hate messages.

We talked with a Kalispell artist who ventured 90 feet off the ground to create a colorful piece of art supporting love and peace in the Flathead Valley.

“2020’s been a rough year, right? So, we’re just trying to bring some good positive energy,” said artist Thomas Valencia.

He had a vision to create a piece of art on top of the historic silos that were recently graffitied with anti-Semitic vandalism.

Valencia reached out to Montana West Economic Development who currently owns the property about painting a locomotive piece atop of the old grain elevators.

He says the owners were thrilled with the idea, giving him access 90 feet off the ground. It took Valencia roughly eight hours to paint the colorful piece.

Thomas Valencia
Artist Thomas Valencia says he had a vision to create a piece of art on top of the historic silos that were recently graffitied with anti-Semitic vandalism.

“It’s kind of a mission once you’re up there you don’t really want to be going up and down,” Valencia said.

He told MTN News he wanted to bring positive energy back to Kalispell after seeing anti-Semitic vandalism.

Valencia drew inspiration from the community's longstanding relationship with the railroad.

“Just a piece to commemorate the old train yard that is no longer in service this year, you know these bells quit ringing right here, just kind of a tip of the hat to the old train yard,” he explained.

Valencia says the artwork will be displayed until the silos are permanently moved this spring.

The case is still under investigation and you're asked to contact the Kalispell Police Department at (406) 758-7780 with any information.