It’s been thirty years since the Los Angeles Olympics. There have been earthquakes, riots, floods and fires; mountain lions and and bears have come down from the hills, buildings have gone up, landmarks have been torn down.
And the Olympic murals–designed and painted in 1984 to celebrate the city, the Olympics and the athletes–have come back to life, thanks to the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles. Of the ten murals along the 110 and 101 freeway, seven survived annihilation by vandals and construction. To preserve these, in 2007 Cal Trans began covering the murals with protective gray paint.
Two years ago, MCLA began painstakingly restoring the gray-blanketed murals, and now five have been recovered. MCLA has also helped Los Angeles recover its title as the mural capital of the world world by championing muralism and the new Los Angeles City Mural Ordinance, now almost a year old.
To celebrate the Olympic Murals and the artists who created them, on Sunday August 24, MCLA hosts reception featuring nine of the artists (the tenth, Terry Schoonhoven died in 2001, but his widow, Sheila, will attend). Glenn Avila, Judy Baca, Alonzo Davis, Willie Herrón III, Frank Romero, Roderick Sykes, Kent Twitchell, John Wehrle, and Richard Wyatt will be present Sunday at “The Olympic Freeway Murals: Celebrating 30 Years.” Also in attendance: Olympic athletes as gold medal swimmer John Naber and boxer Paul Gonzales.
The event, a fundraiser to continues MCLA’s work, also celebrates the unveiling of a limited-edition Olympic Freeway Murals box set of photography by John Humble. Tickets range from $25 to $200 are available through Eventbrite.com.
“The Olympic Freeway Murals: Celebrating 30 Years.” at the Pico House, 424 N Main St., Los Angeles, 90012; Sunday, August 24, 2014 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, for VIP, 2pm to 4pm general ticketing.