Mural honoring Mpozi Mishale Tolbert in Broad Ripple painted over

A mural honoring the life of Mposi ‘Posey’ Mishale Tolbert, a local DJ and IndyStar photojournalist, was missing Monday evening from the Broad Ripple business where his homage had stood for the past 16 years.

Tolbert’s likeness, painted with angel wings and leaning over a turntable with the bright Indianapolis skyline behind him, was gone. In its place Monday was a barren white wall, a blank space devoid of any life or color.

IndyStar reached out to LAVA, a hookah lounge serving American and Middle Eastern food in the 6300 block of Guilford Avenue, concerning the mural’s disappearance but received no response from the owner Monday evening before this article’s publication.

A painted-over wall outside Lava in Broad Ripple that until today, contained a mural, painted in homage to Mpozi Mshale Tolbert, Indianapolis, Monday, September 18, 2023. The art work for former DJ and IndyStar photojournalist was originally painted in the summer of 2007, a year after his death.

The Broad Ripple mural was created in 2007 by BRIDGE (Beyond Redefining Individual Dreams & Gaining Exposure) members Matt Lawrence and FAB Crew a year after Tolbert died at age 34.

“Posey was amazing,” said Brian Presnell, 51, of Indianapolis, a longtime friend of Tolbert who collaborated on the mural project. “He was like this warm hug you needed at the end of the day. That mural meant a lot to his mother and her family. She lost her other son, Posey’s brother, in a Blackhawk training accident a year after Posey died.”

Read More: Mural honoring Mpozi Mishale Tolbert in Broad Ripple painted over

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