Los Angeles is flush with famous alfresco artworks that weather the weather, including plaza sculptures, walk-through installations, and our iconic murals, paintings so well-known that the concept of "mural" has nearly become synonymous with what it means to be LA.
But weathering the weather can take its toll. There's beauty in a free-to-see, open-to-the-sky, culturally significant mural, but murals, perhaps faster than any other artwork, need some TLC if they're going to be around for future generations.
Enter The Department of Cultural Affairs' Citywide Mural Program, which will oversee the restoration of numerous murals through June of 2016. So if you drive by a favorite you see each day -- perhaps "Not Somewhere Else, But Here" by artist Daryl E. Well, which is located on Fairfax Avenue, or Yreina Cervantez's "La Ofrenda" -- you just may see a crew at work.
Nope, the mural is not being painted over, worry not; brushstrokes and tools to address damage and various restoration techniques are ensuring that the artwork continues on in fine form.
But the program is going further with the creation of fresh murals in addition to saving those that already enliven various structures around Southern California: "(E)ach of the 15 City Council offices" can "commission new murals or conserve existing historic fine arts murals with educational initiatives to engage the public."
Continuing interest in the conservation of local murals has been on the rise, and an ordinance passed in 2013 gave the program further inspiration to protect "the legacy of Los Angeles' artistic tradition," a tradition that boldly tells the stories of community leaders, civic visionaries, and those who've made a difference.
Beyond the murals commissioned or chosen for restoration by the 15 City Council offices, eleven more murals around town will undergo restoration.
For sure, scaffolding or tarps may block these larger-than-life stories told through paint for a time, but trust they'll be back looking sharp and ready to stand as visual icons of LA.
bottom photo: "Mujer del Este de Los Angeles" by George Yepes