County needs to clarify what’s off-limits at Lime

Humans created one of the earliest undisputed artworks, a Venus figurine, over 35,000 years ago. Around this time, the first cave paintings were also applied, including stencils of the artists’ own hands. As soon as we could pry a few moments from the brutal work of survival, people have been compelled to express imagination and identify themselves, leaving their mark, telling their tale, personalizing their environment, and decorating spaces.

This is the natural urge that led my husband, Adam Nilsson, to explore the diverse, dynamic, urban art at the abandoned Lime plant. Similar curiosity enticed me to Lime, two weeks prior, to experience the wonder.

Over the last few years, Lime has earned a reputation as a paragon of relevant street art; a search of social media will confirm that. I understand there is wide disagreement whether “graffiti” constitutes art. But one can also find people who call Venus de Milo obscene, simply because the work portrays a nude female form.

It never occurred to us that Lime was private, or forbidden. Everything about it indicates otherwise. More visitors are misled every day by the county’s neglect and ambiguity.

People visit constantly, all day long, posting photos, shooting video, and having picnics. I understand the county’s position — potential danger, remoteness, crumbling structures — these problems are obvious.

If Lime was already a pressing concern, why were there no clear signs to keep people out? Why was our house searched, and our property and records seized when others were allowed to leave the site with a simple warning?

Adam is a conscientious person that doesn’t seek to purposefully harm anyone, and a thoughtful city councilor who takes the job seriously and carefully considers decisions that affect Baker City and our community.

Upekala Wijayratne

Baker City