LOS ANGELES, CA – (September 12, 2019) – Four prominent local Chicano/a artists — Judithe Hernández, José Lozano, Miguel Angel Reyes, and Barbara Carrasco — unveiled new murals adorning the new LA Plaza Village mixed-use complex in Downtown Los Angeles near the El Pueblo historic district today.
LA Plaza Village is a 3.7-acre, $160 million project developed by LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (LA Plaza), High Street Residential, Trammell Crow Company, the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Principal Real Estate Investors, and the County of Los Angeles. The project is located on two former surface parking lots that encompass Spring and Broadway streets from the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial, between Cesar Chavez Avenue and Arcadia Street.
The new murals adorn four structures in LA Plaza Village, the first major new development in the El Pueblo area, that includes 355 apartments, including 20% priced at affordable rates, and more than 43,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space. The project broke ground in August 2016.
The four murals were installed over the past few months, either hand-painted on the wall or painted on canvas, digitally-reproduced and installed on durable vinyl. They are all located on Broadway between the Hollywood Freeway and Cesar Chavez Avenue. Judithe Hernández’s La Nueva Reina stands seven-stories tall overlooking the Hollywood Freeway on the west side of Broadway. On the opposite corner is Jose Lozano’s Aliso Dreams at five stories tall. Family Tree by Miguel Angel Reyes welcomes residents and visitors at the development’s Broadway parking garage entrance. Barbara Carrasco’s Movimiento is located at the future headquarters of The Cesar Chavez Foundation.
“LA Plaza Village will make a lasting and impactful statement to the historic roots and presence of Latinos in Los Angeles through the works of these four talented artists. The artists were selected based on their creative ability to capture the essence of the Latino experience in Los Angeles, and we believe their art will distinguish LA Plaza Village as one of the most captivating and inspiring developments in downtown. Much as El Pueblo pays tribute to our proud history, LA Plaza Village recognizes our bright and promising future,” said John Echeveste, CEO, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.
Barbara Carrasco, Artist, Movimiento
“As an artist, I worked directly with Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and the United Farm Workers to create mural banners for the union’s numerous conventions and events. This is a great opportunity to visually portray the vibrancy of the movement that included numerous individuals from various walks oflife. I am looking forward to creating a mural that will reflect the spirit and prominence of the union within the broader Chicano Movement. The community, national, and international support of the farmworkers was the foundation of the union’s strength to positively impact the lives not only of farm workers themselves but also young artists, college students, teachers, and other workers across the country. This mural project will be a colorful, historical narrative of a diverse community that is integral to Los Angeles.
Judithe Hernández, Artist, La Reina Nueva
“During my professional career I have been the fortunate recipient of many opportunities to create public art in Los Angeles. But among them, the LA Plaza Village development is unique because it represents a full-circle moment in my 45-year career. In 1981, I created Recuerdos de Ayer, Sueños de Mañana, the bicentennial mural for the City of Los Angeles. It was commissioned to commemorate the founding of the city in 1781 and installed on the old Brunswig Garage Building located on what is now the campus of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. The mural, conceived as an homage to the city’s cultural roots in Mexicanidad, depicted the city’s patroness Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles standing against a blue sky with her veil overflowing with the history of the city. For the next 20 years the mural presided over the heart of the city until the building was demolished in 2001. Nearly 40 years after I painted the bicentennial mural, an unprecedented opportunity came my way. I was commissioned to re-imagine an iconic image from the past and to infuse it with new life, in a new century.
“As a powerful cultural and historical image, the city’s patroness has for too long been absent from the city’s heart and visual experience. Therefore, it seemed fitting to honor her again. My challenge was to reinterpret La Reina as the embodiment of an ancient cultural past reaching out to embrace the unfolding future in the 21st century. It is my hope that from her new location on the western tower of LA Plaza Village, La Nueva Reina de Los Angeles will symbolize the strength, beauty, and resolve of the Mexican American community to reclaim the ancestral role of the original Pobladores of this city and inspire their descendants to shape the success of Los Angeles far into the future. I believe that public artists are entrusted with the unique responsibility to frame their artistic vision to reflect a community’s collective perception of a moment in time. It is my hope that La Nueva Reina will come to embody this moment and become a visual memory of Los Angeles for all who see her.”
José Lozano, Artist, Aliso Dreams
“I’ve been a practicing artist now for more than thirty years. My practice is varied, from writing and illustrating children’s books, doing public art work and practicing in group and solo exhibits here in Los Angeles. The image is an homage to the monumental Aliso tree which once stood behind what is now Olvera Street. It is around this tree that the native and first Angelinos, the Tongva Indians decided to settle. The image is also about the soothing and joyous effect of music and how it brings people and communities together. It depicts one of the many magical and musical evenings I’ve shared with other people under a unique L.A. sky. This particular serenade is by L.A’s very own, La Marisoul. “
Miguel Angel Reyes, Artist, Family Tree
“Family Tree pays homage to my own family and to all of those immigrant families who have sacrificed everything to have a better life for their children in this Country. I hope this mural inspires everyone to pursue an education and to put in the hours to reach their goals. An Education can be a difficult road which does not guarantee results. I hope that those who take the academic road are able to stay with it and not give up your dream. Make your parents, your community and yourself proud and create a role model for future generations.”
About LA Plaza: Opened in 2011, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is a Los Angeles County museum and Smithsonian Institute affiliate that celebrates the past and inspires the future by sharing the untold stories about the history, art and culture of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and all Latinos in the founding and continuing evolution of Southern California through compelling and culturally enriching exhibitions, educational initiatives, and public programs.
Note to reporters & editors:
“LA” in “LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes” is part of the official name and should be capitalized
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Abelardo de la Peña Jr., LA Plaza Lorena Alamillo, VPE