Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles

blog | | | | get involved | donate
Greetings from the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles!
This fall has been a very busy time for us at MCLA , here is a look at what we have been up to!

Events from October 2011

Joint Planning+Arts Committee of the City Council
 On October 12, 2011, a joint meeting between Special Planning & Land Use Management and Arts, Parks, & Neighborhood Committee took place at L.A. City Hall to discuss amending the city’s sign code to permit murals on private property.  The joint-committee discussed policy regarding murals and the Councilmembers gave the departments direction for the mural ordinance. For this purpose, the Planning Department will be offering workshops throughout Los Angeles on recent actions by the City Council to end the current ban on murals and seek input from muralists and community members on how to shape the new ordinance.

Your participation in L.A.’s art community is crucial. Attend the Planning Department informative workshops! 

Learn about future developments at:

Photo Credit:  Isabel Rojas Williams
Councilmembers: Paul Krekorian (District 2), Ed P. Reyes (District 1), and  José Huizar (District 14).

MCLA at the Miracle Mile Art Walk (MMAW)

On Saturday October 22nd, 2011, muralist and co-founder of MCLA, Kent Twitchell, was finishing the final phase of his segment of the Berlin "Wall Along Wilshire” in situ during the Miracle Mile Art Walk (MMAW). The 5900 “Wall Along Wilshire” festivities included The Mural Conservancy Los Angeles (MCLA), Tanner Blackman (City of LA Department of Planning - Code Studies Division), and and the DoART Foundation. These L.A. based art and advocacy groups offered interactive art activities, and discussions. They talked with the public about the current state of murals in Los Angeles, the recent efforts to create a mural ordinance, and what Angelenos can do to support mural art in Los Angeles. Sponsors and supporters of the MMAW included: The Mural Conservancy Los Angeles (MCLA), MCWCC, LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5900 Wilshire, Friends of Mid City West, City of L.A.,, the DoART Foundation, Schlep and Fetch, all area museums and over 55 galleries located throughout the Miracle Mile Arts District.

Photo Credit: Isabel Rojas Williams
Students and teachers from Golden Valley High School in Bakersfield, CA,
that came to the Berlin "Wall Along Wilshire" while muralist Kent Twitchell was painting 

MCLA Partners with the West Adams Heritage Association and the California African American Museum
On October 22, 2011, The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA), the West Adams Heritage Association (WAHA), and the California African American Museum (CAAM) partnered once more to bring awareness to the historic murals created by artists Charles Alston and Hale Woodruff, they have become cultural landmarks in African American History at the Golden State Mutual Life Building. The iconic 1949 murals by Alston and Woodruff "Exploration and Colonization" and "Settlement and Development" spoke of profound changes within the African-American communities and were commissioned for the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Co. (corner of Western Ave & West Adams Blvd). The murals, depicting scenes of African Americans’ contributions to California history, are endangered and threatened with removal. 

" Exploration in Colonization" By Charles Alston and "Settlement and Development" By Hale Woodruff
Images courtesy of Robin Dunitz

MCLA Free Walking Tour of L.A. Arts District to students from the Ambassador School of Global Leadership

On October 28, 2011, MCLA offered a free walking mural tour of the L.A. Arts District to students from the Ambassador School of Global Leadership (ASGL) who were brought by their Art Teacher Jay Davis. VYAL ONE was in attendance to speak to the students about the piece he did in collaboration with CBS crew at the corner of 2nd St. & Garey Street and his experiences as a Graffiti artist in L.A. Daniel Lahoda spoke about the different murals he curates at the L.A. Arts District. MCLA's executive director, Isabel Rojas-Williams, spoke about the issues surrounding mural art today, L.A.'s richly diverse culture and the importance of L.A. youth in helping protect the history of Los Angeles as depicted in its mural. MCLA's docents Kelly Hilker and Hanh Nguye, took turns to speaking about different murals, while volunteer Ian Robertson took photos of the event. All of it was documented by a photographer sent by the L.A. Times.

Photo Credit: Ian Robertson

" El Callejón Herrón" Mural Tour by Willie Herrón 

On October 30, 2011, El “Callejón Herrón” mural tour was narrated by celebrated artist Willie Herrón, debuting the PST’s newly commissioned mural “ASCO – EAST OF NO WEST.” Also highlighting the murals “The Plumed Serpent,” The Wall that Cracked Open,” and “La Doliente de Hidalgo.” The attendants had the opportunity to view “La Historia de Arte Mexicano” (1985), a mural by Mexican artist, Mario Martin del Campo, which Herrón is in the process of restoring. Special presentation to Willie Herrón by Supervisor Gloria Molina and words by Velma Perdomo ("La Paloma Art"), and the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA) executive director, Isabel Rojas-Williams.

Photo Credit: GIl Ortiz Photos

Artist of the Month

Johanna Poethig

“Johanna Poethig is a visual, public and performance artist who has exhibited internationally and has been actively creating public art works, murals, paintings, sculpture and multimedia installations for over 20 years… She has worked in collaboration with other artists, architects, urban planners, design teams, arts commissions, specific communities and cultural groups… Poethig's public artworks intervene in the urban landscape, in neighborhoods, on freeways, in parks, hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, cultural centers, advertising venues and public buildings…She has received numerous commissions and awards for this work. Her paintings, sculpture and installations reflect her interest in satire, symbol, human nature, society and our consumerist culture. She has produced and participated in performance events that mix feminism, global politics, costume, props, cabaret, experimental music and video.”
Find out more about Johanna Poethig 
Poethig says she draw her inspiration “from moving, feeling, listening, looking at and thinking about the world and my life in it.   From creative relationships of all kinds. From the great diversity of cultural traditions. From the work of other artists in history and today. From my frustration with the violence, social and economic injustice that insults us everyday. From the fun and trials of being a woman and feminist.  From the mystery of life, the longing for transcendence and the excitement of experimentation and improvisation.”

Read Full Interview Here

Photo Courtesy of Johanna Poethig
"Humming with Life"

Murals in the News:

Carmen Trutanich's War on Art Murals: Can a bumbling L.A. City Council revive the local street art form?

Los Angeles Daily News | Dakota Smith, Staff Writer | October 13, 2011“After a nearly decade long ban on murals appearing on private property, Los Angeles is seeking to overhaul its rules so art can once again flourish on private walls. The city, which has long looked to Portland, Ore., as a model for biking and street car transportation, is once again going north for inspiration on its mural ordinance. L.A. has formed the Mural Task Force to craft a draft ordinance and is speaking to attorneys and planners in Portland to better understand that city's mural regulations. "There are two policy goals," said Tanner Blackman, the Los Angeles city planner in charge of the Mural Task Force. "To preserve and protect existing murals, and create an environment for new ones."
Read full article here


Upcoming MCLA Mural Tour

On Saturday, November 12, 2011, join MCLA and C.I.C.L.E. for a bike tour of Downtown Los Angeles and Lincoln Heights. After the 7-mile bike tour, join your fellow riders and tour docents for a reception, refreshments, and raffles at Gorilla Studios in Lincoln Heights.
The suggested donation of just $10 per person includes 1 reserved space on the tour, 1 beer ticket (21 and over), 1 raffle ticket, and complimentary refreshments.(All ages are welcome and be sure to BYOB: Bring Your Own Bike)
Have questions about the tour? Call: 213-291-6900. 
or for more information CLICK HERE



Saber, Graffiti Artist, Fights To Lift Mural Ban In LA

Huffington Post | Andrew Reilly | October 24, 2011

“For the artist Saber, participation in the democratic process has always been complicated. He's an international graffiti legend, holding the world record for the largest graffiti piece, done along the LA river in 1997. Despite its place in the history books, the city of Los Angeles spent a whopping $837,000 to paint over it in 2009. Now Saber is approaching public art laws from a different angle, spearheading an effort to reform Los Angeles' mural policies.”
Read full article here

Highland Park AT&T Building Mural Finally Restored  
Neon Tommy, Annenberg Digital News | Molly Gray| October 22, 2011
“When Liz Torres first moved to Highland Park, 35 years ago, she fell in love with a mural just two blocks from her home…She took all her friends to see it — that is until it became an eyesore covered in graffiti.
But today, that has changed.” 
Read full article here


A visual "mashup" of Chicano muralism at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Art | Author Unlisted | October 24, 2011
“Sandra de la Loza, founder of the Pocho Research Society of Erased and Invisible History, presents a visual “mashup” of Chicano muralism by sampling obscure and forgotten details in L.A. murals produced in Los Angeles during the Chicano movement of the 1970s. Taking the role of a performative archivist, she extracts, slices, and blows up archival material to create a multi-media installation that provides a constantly shifting glance at Chicano muralism.”
Read full article





L.A. to draw a finer line on murals as art, not ads: Under pressure from artists, the council is revising a 2002 law banning murals on most private property to legalize the city's best-known works and some more recent pieces.

Los Angeles Times | Richard Winton | October 24, 2011

 “From the aging homages to Chicano history on the Eastside to Shepard Fairey's towering "Peace Goddess" watching over downtown, Los Angeles has earned a reputation as the street mural capital of the world. But for nearly a decade, much of this artwork has been done illicitly. City ordinances make it illegal to create murals on the vast majority of private properties. Officials estimate that more than 300 murals have been painted over in the last several years, a fact that has frustrated artists as well as property owners who commission the murals.” 
Read Full Article Here