Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles

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3648 East First St., Los Angeles, CA 90063. (click to view)

1,123 sq. ft
Ceramic Tile manufactured and installed by Joel Suro Olivares
Description / Interpretation: 

Artists: Created by Don Juan/Johnny D. González (project concept and theme, architectural and mural design), David Botello and Robert Arenivar (mural design). Ceramic Tile manufactured and installed by Joel Suro Olivares. "Early 1970, Don Juan/Johnny D. González presented his vision and architectural rendering to the owner of The First Street Store, Bob Kemp, to transform the stores facade with Mexican-Colonial arches, pillars and mural panels as part of Juan/Johnny's 1970 Cultural Heritage Tourism initiative, "Project: East L.A. to Tourist Attraction," and mural apprenticeship school, TELASOMAFA (The East Los Angeles School of Mexican American Fine Arts). Postponed because of the Chicano Moratorium police induced riot and killing of L.A. Times reporter Ruben Salazar, in 1974, Don Juan/Johnny D. González, David Botello and Robert Arenivar collaborated in the design of 18 mural panels as one work of art, titled "The Story of Our Struggle", embodying the entire mural facade of The First Street Store. The theme traces Chicano heritage from its roots in ancient pre-Columbian Mexico up to modern America. Joel Suro Olivares manufactured the ceramic tiles, in Mexico, and installed them in the mural facade. Raymond A. Stockdale A.I.A. was the architect who oversaw the renovation. Don Juan/Johnny D. González, David Botello and Jose Luis González were partners of Goez Art Studio and Gallery when the project was completed. In Order Shown: Photo: © David Botello | Photo © Isabel Rojas-Williams (last two) East L.A.’s largest Cultural Heritage Landmark: Since 1924 The First Street Store, and 1974 “The Story of Our Struggle” mural facade, has served as an iconic symbol of community pride and economic independence in this once thriving gathering place for generations of East L.A. families. In 1975, together with the East L.A. Chicano Mural Movement, it received worldwide media acclaim in Time Magazine and again in 2011-12 when featured in the UCLA Fowler Museum exhibition “Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement” curated by the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center as part of the Getty Foundation initiative “Pacific Standard Time.” The First Street Store with “The Story of Our Struggle” multi-panel mural facade stand today as East L.A.’s largest Cultural Heritage Landmark; generating hope and inspiration for our youth, families and community while serving as the foundation for economic growth by attracting national and international tourists back to our struggling community." Interpretation by Don Juan/Johnny D. González and David Botello