Controversial Trump billboard still looming over Grand Avenue after a year

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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

If you spend any time on Grand Avenue in downtown Phoenix, or anywhere nearby, you’ve seen the controversial billboard of President Trump for 365 days.

“I think you can see it from the freeway.”

[READ MORE: Billboard depicting Trump with mushroom clouds and swastika-like dollar signs pops up in Phoenix]

Nate Champion owns Kustumz Hair Shop on Grand, and said the second an artist from L.A. created the billboard of President Trump next to mushroom clouds and swastika-like dollar signs, it was a talker. But he said this area supports freedom of speech through art, even if it’s controversial.

[RELATED: Death threats do not deter artist behind controversial Trump billboard]

“It’s a little looming. It’s a point, it’s a statement, and everyone has the right to do that,” said Champion.

Others like Afida Adams said they can see why some are offended but have chosen to find some ironic humor that may not have been intentional.

“What I find humorous about this is that it is on rainbow-colored pillars, representing gay unity,” said Adams.

[READ MORE: Controversial Trump billboard in Phoenix vandalized]

The billboard was vandalized over the course of the year but has since been cleaned and restored. And when it was first created, the plan was to keep it up for at least a year, but those around here say it’s no Mount Rushmore, but this face may be here a little while longer.

[RELATED: Arizona lawmaker says she's not to blame for Trump billboard vandalism]

“I come by all the time and I see people stopping and taking photographs in front of it almost like it’s a historical landmark at this point,” said Adams.

The billboard's artist, Karen Fiorito, said the plan is to keep the billboard up through Trump's presidency. 

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Briana WhitneyBriana Whitney joined CBS 5/3TV in February 2018, and is no stranger to the sunshine and heat!

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Briana Whitney

She’s from Northern California, but prior to coming to Phoenix, she reported at KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, TX for three years.

During her time in South Texas, she reported on several national stories. Some of the most memorable were the 2015 Wimberley floods, reporting for eight hours off the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, and reporting from the church shooting in Sutherland Springs in November of 2017.

Her general assignment reporting won her two Associated Press awards, six EMMY awards, and one Emmy nomination for a half-hour special she wrote, produced and hosted on the issue of child pornography.

Briana graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and during college had seven different internships at several news stations.

When she isn’t chasing breaking news or working on a feature story, Briana loves checking out the best restaurants in the Valley, and hiking or rollerblading around town. Briana is very happy to have made Arizona home!

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