In early January, Atlanta based muralist Ray Geier, creator of the original Cat vs. Dog mural that decorated the main dance floor of Tokyo Kitty, was accused of sexual assault by dozens of women. The creatives at Tokyo Kitty took immediate action.
“I believe that we have a responsibility as business owners to shape the conversation when it comes to the types of art we support, whether that be music or murals.” says Tokyo Kitty Owner Jacob Trevino, “Hopefully we can spark change with our partnerships in supporting artists and musicians that bring a positive impact on the world.”
Jenny Ustick, a prolific Cincinnati muralist with works like ‘Walnut Hills 5 Points Alley’ and the Convention Center’s ’The Hands That Built Our City’, was the immediate choice. Her concept? Eartha Kit as Catwoman. “Not only was she a pop culture icon, but she built her career as a singer, dancer, and fiercely independent activist who advocated for LGBT rights and inclusion.” Jenny elaborates.
The Tokyo Kitty management team insists that they won’t stand for abhorrent behavior, and certainly won’t leave the legacy of someone who has a legacy of abuse on their walls. Teaming up with Jenny was an easy decision. Together, they’d re-write the narrative with a little heart and a lot of paint.
Owner and Creative Director Katie Trevino sums up the plan moving forward: ”We're angry about what happened, but we're also excited to create something beautiful in its place. Art has the power to speak to people without words, and for us as a creative company, that’s our voice.“