Venice Murals To Be Restored As Part Of $750,000 Program

Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014, 9:08:00 AM

Staff Report

Iconic murals in Venice, South Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and other parts of Los Angeles could be restored as part of a $750,000 program approved by the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday.

About $400,000 will be used for the upkeep and preservation of murals deemed "historically significant" by the city.

Another $300,000 will be evenly distributed to each of the city's 15 council districts to use toward creating new murals or other mural-related activities.

The remaining $50,000 will cover administrative costs, according to Tony Arranaga of City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell's office. O'Farrell chairs the Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and River Committee.

"Los Angeles murals are the heart and soul of our city, and this iconic cultural infrastructure needs attention just like our roads and sidewalks," O'Farrell said.

Matthew Rudnick, acting general manager of the Department of Cultural Affairs, which will oversee the mural restoration projects, said the funds come "on the heels of our new mural ordinance."

The city recently lifted a citywide moratorium on murals on private property.

The funds "will allow the city to once again protect and nurture Los Angeles's rich and vibrant mural legacy," Rudnick said.

The Cultural Affairs Department will begin working with council offices in July to identify which murals will get  funding, O'Farrell aide David Giron said.

Some may be drawn from a list of 19 murals the Cultural Affairs Department says are in need of maintenance.

The list includes Judy Baca's "The Great Wall of Los Angeles," which stretches a half-mile on the walls of the Tujunga Wash in the San Fernando Valley. The collaborative mural features the contributions of 400 youths and community volunteers, as well as 36 artists.

Also on the list is Christina Schlesinger's "Chagall Returns to Venice Beach,'' which is displayed on the Israel Levin Senior Center on Ocean Front Walk, just north of Rose Avenue, in Venice.

In Boyle Heights, George Yepes's "Mujer del Este de Los Angeles" or "Woman of East Los Angeles," which shows a woman in a gown of flags from the around the world, also is being considered for restoration funding.

Two murals in South Los Angeles painted by Noni Olabisi may also get funding. They include "To Protect and Serve," and "Freedom Won't Wait," which shows anguished faces painted in response to the police beating of Rodney King.

Other murals that Cultural Affairs department officials said needs maintenance include work created by Yrenia Cervantez, Rip Cronk and Willie Herron, Johanna Poethig, Charles Freeman and Richard Wyatt.

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