Artist to change Derek Mason mural near West End after complaint - WSMV Channel 4

Artist to change Derek Mason mural near West End after complaints

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Artist Mike Cooper added coach Derek Mason's likeness to the iconic mural at the corner of 28th Avenue and West End in February. Artist Mike Cooper added coach Derek Mason's likeness to the iconic mural at the corner of 28th Avenue and West End in February.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - After complaints from the Vanderbilt University chapter of the NAACP, a mural of football coach Derek Mason will be retouched.

Vanderbilt chapter president Akailah Jenkins told The Tennessean members started a petition because they feel the portrait is "reminiscent of the minstrelsy era in which black people's skin was darkened and their lips were made whiter in order to exaggerate their race."

Muralist Michael Cooper said he was working off of a very dark photograph. He said he painted what was in the photo, but he has since seen other photographs of Mason.

He told the paper, "I would sign the petition based just on that difference."

Vanderbilt fans Fant Smith and Craig Savage commissioned the $2,500 mural. They confirmed that Cooper will make alterations to the work.

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