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The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (MCLA) was founded in 1987 as a community-supported organization to preserve and protect Los Angeles’ diverse and culturally historic public Mural Arts. It was created by a coalition of Artists, Public Art Advocates, City of Los Angeles and State of California Public Officials, and Restoration Specialists. MCLA built long-term programs to retain mural arts as a part of Los Angeles’ cultural legacy and establish murals as a significant part of the city’s cultural heritage. It advocates for the rights of artists and public art, working with artist to support the integrity of their work. MCLA promotes local artist and public murals in order to sustain Los Angeles as one of the great Mural Capitals in the United States.
Maintain, Restore and Preserve
The ongoing creation of new murals serves the public and enhances the image of Los Angeles at a relatively low cost. This also presents the problems of maintenance and preservation. Public art is susceptible to damage by weather, deterioration, and vandalism. MCLA’s Mural Maintenance Program partners volunteers, artists, and conservation specialists to provide a cost-effective approach for preserving LA’s most famous historic murals including: the L.A. Marathon Mural and 7 th St. Alter Piece by Kent Twitchell, Hitting the Walls by Judy Baca, Luchas del Mundo by Willie Herron, and Pope of Broadway by Eloy Torres, for example. MCLA spearheads cutting edge technology around Restoration and Preservation of murals, which has been utilized on 9 of the 11 historic freeway murals and numerous murals around the city of Los Angeles.
Documentation, Education and Community Involvement
Along with mural preservation, providing information for professionals and heightening the public awareness about Mural Arts is MCLA’s most important mission. The MCLA website Mural Gallery serves as an electronic database cataloging Los Angeles’ murals and Artists that contribute to the visual landscape for education, historic research, and to build Mural Maps and Tours. MCLA is preparing to launch a new Arts in Education Program working with local artists to provide mentorship and skill building, while teaching Public Art Etiquette to at-risk inner-city youth as a preventative measure to deter vandalism. MCLA’s Volunteer Programs establishes an infrastructure for public involvement in creating, maintaining and preserving Mural Arts in Los Angeles.
- Kelly Hilker
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