I was greeted by an intriguing sight when I drove through Rosendale, NY last week: artists painting different iterations of roses on the sides of businesses up and down Main St. From a rather stoic black-and-white piece to giant murals bursting with color, the project looked immense. What I didn't know was how much drama it would create.

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Rose Murals in Rosendale, NY

The fight has been waging for days, a surprising reaction to something that I considered pretty on-brand for a town that's as fun, artsy, and community-minded as Rosendale. Several recent Facebook posts have garnered hundreds of comments, many devolving into petty name-calling, all over the new artwork.

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Reactions to Roses in Rosendale, NY

"There are at least two teams at work today adding even *more* roses to Rosendale! How many murals have you counted around town?", asked a curious resident over the weekend. The comments came rolling in. "I love this", said one community member. "I think the murals are beautiful and adding to Rosendale's charm", said another. Not everyone was as happy...

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Hudson Valley Facebook Heats Up

"Rosendale's history is being erased and literally painted over", lamented a former resident. "The fact that you think we should be grateful over artwork we find ugly and didn't choose is astounding", added a slightly more passionate commenter. "I'm gonna come and pee and poop all over your lawn and you should be grateful because I am composting it!", he continued. So what's the stir over some public art? Not only does everyone not agree on the beauty of the artwork, many are upset over the method they allege that the roses were "approved" in the first place.
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Rose Mural Allegations

"The artist went door-to-door, lied to people about whom she was associated with, and then was aggressive to at least one person when they said no", alleged one Facebook comment. "This was an intentional and confrontational move. This is a group of individuals who believe they have found a way to surpass the natural order of things which is why they decided to go to building owners instead of the town. They figure once it’s up what can we do about it", claimed another.
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The Other Side

Perhaps obviously, not everyone is so enraged. "I think the street mural/paintings are beautiful. I love the red roses on the side of the old Fann's building. The drab façade is now bright and cheery", asserted one woman. "What is up with you guys? Are you sitting around at some picnic table at Stewart's being freaked out by pretty pictures? And getting yourselves all worked up?", a more confrontational commenter asked.
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Either way, it looks like these roses are here to stay... for now. Want some more public art? Check out the funky sculpture installations below that look damn-near extra-terrestrial, and keep scrolling to find some gorgeous murals just outside of the Hudson Valley including an awesome vintage Pepsi ad.

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