Nine artists in process of finishing commissioned murals as Councilmember Huizar works on improving First Street and promoting public art - plans to expand project District and Citywide
(LOS ANGELES) October 25, 2013 – Councilmember Huizar, the leading force on the City Council in adopting the recent mural ordinance, announced today he has commissioned nine top artists to paint murals on utility boxes on East First Street in Boyle Heights.
The street, which is currently undergoing a $12 million Eastside Access Project renovation facilitated by Councilmember Huizar, Metro and City departments, is also being enhanced between Boyle and Soto streets by the considerable talent of a wide spectrum of artists utilizing different painting techniques, themes and visions.
Most if not all of the Boyle Heights Utility Box Murals should be completed in the next week or so. Councilmember Huizar will expand the Utility Box Mural Project soon to beautify El Sereno and other parts of his district. The effort is part of Huizar’s push to utilize available public space, such as the recent bus-bench art project he sponsored, for public art.
“Public Art is vitally important to the life of any great City,” said Councilmember Huizar. “As we free artists of the bind they were in through our recently adopted mural ordinance on private property, it’s important that we show our support for art on public property. Utility Box Murals are an easy and affordable way to beautify our neighborhoods. I am hoping that this will spur a Citywide movement to promote art and give our talented local artists an opportunity to show the world the amazing artistry that we have here in the City of Los Angeles.”
Special thanks for the utility box project goes to artists Raul Gonzalez, who helped CD14 coordinate the effort, as well as participated as one of the featured muralists. Other artists include: Fabian Debora; Nuke; Lilia Ramirez (LiliFlor); Vyal One; Ricardo Estrada; Blossom; Sonji Mariposa and Carlos Callejo.
In September, Councilmember Huizar joined with City Departments, business and art leaders in Boyle Heights to break ground on the latest upgrade for the up-and-coming eastside community – a neglected neighborhood in past decades that has seen well over $2 billion in public improvements in recent years.
First Street is currently being upgraded with new, decorative sidewalks, 180 trees, street lighting and furniture with an artistic focus for the burgeoning Boyle Heights Arts District on East First Street and the surrounding area.
As a former Metro Director and as a City Councilmember, Huizar has been instrumental in working with Metro, City departments, community and business leaders on the $12 million Eastside Access Improvement Project, which is aimed at improving pedestrian and bicycle access in and around the Metro Eastside Gold Line route in Boyle Heights, as well as support local businesses and the Boyle Heights Arts District. He also spearheaded the $22.4 million renovation of the Boyle Heights City Hall on First and Chicago, in what is now the intersection of the Boyle Heights’ mini-civic center with a new police station, pocket park upgraded library and the new City Hall.
This month, the City Council voted in favor of Huizar’s legislation to dedicate Bailey Street, adjacent to Mariachi Plaza on First, in honor of Mexican icon and Mariachi singer Lucha Reyes.
Since taking office in late 2005, Councilmember José Huizar has introduced 19 motions in support of murals and mural restoration, including calling for a new ordinance in 2008.
CD 14 has twice as many murals as any other Council District, including America Tropical by David Siqueiros at Olvera Street, which later inspired a generation of Eastside artists to create an explosion of political, historical and cultural murals, setting the stage for Los Angeles’ distinction as the “mural capital of the world.”
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