Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles

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Happy Holidays from the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles!
We have had a very exciting year here at MCLA, we truly appreciate the efforts from all of our supporters! Our gift to our fellow Angeleno's this year is the restoration of the 101 Freeway Mural the "Jim Morphesis Monument."
It is with the continued help from the community that we will be able to finish the restoration of this historic and iconic part of Los Angeles history!

Events from November 2011

November 14, 2011: Jim Morphesis Monument Restoration Begins
“The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA) is pleased to announce that Scott Haskins and his firm, FACL, Inc. have begun the work of graffiti removal/abatement and restoration on the Jim Morphesis Monument  (part of the7the Street Altarpiece diptych) by Kent Twitchell, originally painted as part of the 1984 Olympic celebration. It is located beneath the N. Grand Ave. overpass of the 101 Freeway.”
Read full press release: Click Here

Photo Credit: FACL, Inc. *2011*                                                                                            
 Photo Credit: Gil Ortiz *2011*


November 16, 2011: MCLA Kicks Off Fundraiser to Restore the Jim Morphesis Monument!

This L.A. icon has been enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors to the city as they travel the 101 Freeway. Although this artwork has suffered extreme damage as a result of exposure to the elements, tagging, and neglect – its legacy can be preserved with your help! In order to ensure that this important restoration is completed, MCLA has created an opportunity for supporters of L.A.’s mural arts to contribute directly to this project through an online fundraiser. Please follow the link below to make your contribution today— your support of the MCLA makes this vital work possible and your generosity of anyamount is much appreciated. Together, we can reclaim the title: “Los Angeles: Mural Capital of the World”!
To make your donation, please log onto:

View photos of the restoration process: Click Here

MCLA hosts Community Updates on the Mural Ordinance (at Cactus Gallery & California African American Museum)

[Tanner Blackman (City Planning), Isabel Rojas-Williams (MCLA's E.D.), Sandra Mastroiannii (Cactus Gallery), and Tricia Robbins (CM Jose Huizar's Planning Deputy)
Photo Credit: José Ramírez-González, Jr.

On November 3rd, 2011 at Cactus Gallery in Eagle Rock;

On November 15th, 2011  MCLA hosted the informative gathering at the California African American Museum(CAAM), 

On November 30th, 2011 MCLA’s directors Judithe Hernández, Willie Herrón III, Kent Twitchell, Ilia Anossov, and Isabel Rojas-Williams participated in a mural panel discussion held at Known Gallery in West Hollywood

Tanner Blackman (City Planning) & MCLA’s E.D. Isabel Rojas-Williams at CAAM 
Photo Credit: José Ramírez-González, Jr.

Follow MCLA on Facebook to stay up to date with the Mural Ordinance developments:

November 12, 2011: MCLA and CICLE Team Up for Bike Mural Tour

The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA) and C.I.C.L.E. gathered a wonderful group of over 50 bikers and mural advocates to tour murals in the Downtown LA Arts District. A big thank-you to the sponsors of the Street Mural Ride after party: New Belgium Brewery, Gorilla Arts Studio, Big Man Bakes and Urban Noodle and DJ Alter!

Photo Credit: Isabel Rojas Williams
View photos from this event: Click Here

November 13, 2011, “Behind the Berlin Wall” unveiled, The Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War
5900 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles

MCLA’s Executive Director, Isabel Rojas-Williams was in attendance for the unveiling of “Behind the Berlin Wall” which represents the largest stretch of original Berlin Wall in the world outside of Germany. “The project brought together Herakut, the German-painting duo Jasmin Siddiqui from West Germany and Falk Lehmann from East Germany, Retna (Marquis Lewis ), the street artist from Los Angeles, and D*Face, the British multimedia artist Dean Stockton, who painted murals from left to right on the ‘east side’ of the original Berlin Wall - the side that faced the East German death zone.

Read more about “Behind the Berlin Wall”: Click Here

(L-R)Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Isabel Rojas-Williams, Executive Director of The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles,
German artists Jasmin Siddiqui (Herakut), and Falk Lehmann (Herakut)
with Germany’s Consul General Wolfgang Drautz, Artworks by D•Face, Herakut, and Retna

November 19, 2011:MCLA's E.D. Isabel Rojas Williams invited to speak at LACMA Mural Tour with Willie Herrón III of ASCO, "Callejón Herrón”, City Terrace

Photo Credit: Isabel Rojas Williams

“What is a mural?” in the 1970s Willie Herrón and his cohorts already had their own idea of what a mural is; something that the City is still grappling to define. ASCO’s mural representations were distinctive versions and at once celebratory and critical of the genre.

Even though LACMA commissioned Willie Herrón to create "Asco: East of No West", a mural based on Harry Gamboa’s photograph of the1972 ASCO performance "Walking Mural", there can be no doubt that Willie’s creation of this mural was guided by his sheer love of the arts and of his neighborhood. City Terrace is where Willie Herrón lives and where he continues to create artworks that have become part of the fabric of greater Los Angeles. Willie Herrón, along with Patssi, Gronk, and Harry, were, in the 1970s, pioneers of what became a famous avant garde group. These young radicals as they walked through the streets of East Los Angeles as tableau vivants, dressed as La Virgen de Guadalupe, the Walking Mural, and a Christmas Tree, placed the name of East Los Angeles at the forefront of the Art World and helped positioned Los Angeles as one of the Mural Capitals of the World.

The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles would like to recognize Willie Herrón and ASCO as one of the most important conceptual artists from East Los Angeles (by Isabel Rojas-Williams on occasion of the Asco Mural Tour by LACMA at “Callejón Herrón”.)

Photo Credit: Isabel Rojas Williams

Artist of the Month

Willie Middlebrook

“Willie Robert Middlebrook, husband, father of five and grandfather. Willie Middlebrook has an Associate of Arts degree in Art / Photography from Compton Community College (1978) and a Certificate in Design from the Communicative Arts Academy (1975). Mr. Middlebrook has been a working professional artist/photographer for over 20 years working throughout Southern California. During this time Mr. Middlebrook has also been involved in numerous arts and artist run organizations both local and national, received numerous awards & honors, has and is lecturing about & exhibiting his works throughout the United States.” []

Click Here to find out more about Willie Middlebrook

Middlebrook recounts his earliest involvement in the arts “It’s all I know; Mother showed me how to draw when I was in first grade from that point on I was always the school artist, then when I was in high school my Father introduced me to Artists Wes Hall and John Outterbridge.  I have been in the Arts all of my life.”

Read Full Interview Here

Photo Courtesy of Willie Middlebrook

Murals in the News:

Boyle Heights Streets a Canvas: But Historic Murals Are Neglected

Boyle Heights Beat | Angel Lizarraga| October 28, 2011
The streets of Boyle Heights are like an art gallery, with walls that act as canvases. Images of brown pride and indigenous symbols tell stories from the past, and the now faded colors of decades-old murals still brighten the community. Yet many people today walk by these murals without knowing their significance. Many of these works of art are neglected. Some suffer from constant vandalism and whitewashing, and their rich history is disappearing.
Read full article here

Departures Highland Park
Judithe Hernandez, Reclaiming the City, Preserving Murals

“Departures” is a new online video documentary series by KCET exploring the neighborhoods of Los Angeles and their history. In this segment about Highland Park, Judithe Hernándezcomments on the preservation of murals, an art form that was reintroduced to Los Angeles by the Chicano Art Movement. Judithe Hernandez was a member of the celebrated East Los Angeles artist collective "Los Four" and one of the pioneering artists in the vanguard of the Chicano Art Mural Movement of the 1960s and 1970s”

Watch video 


Upcoming MCLA Mural Tour

MCLA actively organizes mural tours throughout Los Angeles as a way to connect communities directly with these important public works. Follow MCLA on Facebook or visit our events page to stay up-to-date on upcoming mural tours throughout Los Angeles!
Upcoming Events:
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L.A. Artist Remixes Lost and Iconic Eastside Murals

KCET So Cal Focus | Adolfo Guzman-Lopez | November 1, 2011 
 “It was another one of those wine and cheese art openings, the ones I keep dragging myself to and keep writing about. At this one though, 20-foot Chicanos erased themselves and in the same act replaced the various shades of their brown skins with reproductions of iconic and lost East L.A. murals.”
  Read full article here

Mural Capital of the World: A Paradise Lost? Or Can LA Bring it Back 
Neon Tommy | Dan Watson and Jacob Chung| November 13, 2011

“One of LA’s most famous muralists, Kent Twitchell, remembers the 1960s and 70s fondly. It was a time when an artistic paradise bloomed in Los Angeles. “We turned it into the Mural Capital of the World,” says Twitchell, recalling an LA that left murals unregulated, and when graffiti was of no real concern. Decades later, most public murals, even his, are of a bygone era, either removed, defaced beyond recognition or neglected to the point of complete destruction.”
Read full article


Restoration of Twitchell's "Jim Morphesis Monument" Begins
KCET Departures |Ed Fuentes| November 18, 2011

“The Los Angeles Mural Conservancy is leading the restoration of Kent Twitchell's "Jim Morphesis Monument," one segment of his "Seventh Street Altarpiece" at Grand and the 101 Freeway. The 1984 Olympic-era mural began undergoing graffiti removal Tuesday by mural conservation expert Scott Haskins.”
Read full article

Talk Begins on Revised Mural Law 
Echo Park Patch | Anthea Raymond | November 4, 2011 
“The public outreach meeting hosted by the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles at Eagle Rock’s Cactus Gallery on Thursday evening started with a deceptively complicated question—What is a mural? The question was posed by Tanner Blackman of the Los Angeles planning code studies department, who has been charged by the city council with penning an ordinance that will allow murals to be legally painted on private property for the first time in nine years.”

Read full article here

Los Angeles mural regulations may be loosening soon
Sundial CSUM | Joelle Katz| November 7th, 2011


“Rules governing murals in Los Angeles could be loosened now that L.A. City Council members voted in favor of revising the law last month. The city put a ban on private property murals in 2002 after outdoor advertising companies sued the city council for regulating signs, but not murals, said Rick Coca, spokesman for District 14.”

Read full article




The Mural is the New Chicano
KCET Departures | Ed Fuentes | November 15, 2011 
 The art that spread the messages of neighborhood truths is now the one that has been disenfranchised, downtrodden, and suspect of being part of a larger criminal element. It is even on the cusp of being overshadowed by street art, sometimes considered to be the center of the current mural revival.
Read Full Article Here