LA Plaza Village Unveils Four NEW Murals
Four prominent local Chicano/a artists — Judithe Hernández, José Lozano, Miguel Angel Reyes, and Barbara Carrasco — have been selected to create new murals that will adorn the new LA Plaza Village mixed-use complex now rising in the El Pueblo Historical Monument area of downtown Los Angeles.
LA Plaza Village is a 3.7-acre, $160 million project being 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 will 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 and is projected to be complete by early 2019.
“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,” said John Echeveste, CEO, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.
“High Street Residential, Trammell Crow Company, and Principal Real Estate Investors are honored to showcase these highly acclaimed artists on our project and create a unique mural corridor along Broadway,” said Brad Cox of High Street Residential. “The variety of styles and voices are tied thematically by the history of the El Aliso tree, an ancient sycamore which served as a gathering place nearby for four centuries. Each artist’s unique interpretation will tell a new story celebrating the Mexican American experience in Los Angeles. In addition, the project will plant a new specimen sycamore in the publicly accessible Paseo to welcome a new generation of Angelenos.”
“The Cesar Chavez Foundation is proud to be part of LA Plaza Village project. In addition to depicting the city’s roots and rich history, we hope that these murals will inspire future generations of Angelenos to transform their communities,” said Paul Chavez, President, Cesar Chavez Foundation.
Now Art is serving as curator and developer of the public art project. “These monumental works will add both recognition and beauty to the original historical City center, while reaffirming the legacy and long-standing history of Chicano art in Los Angeles. We hope these works will inspire a new generation of artists, as well as understanding of the vital contributions of Mexican Americans to both our history and our future as a City,” said Carmen Zella of NOW Art.
In addition to the murals, the project will include a new 40-foot specimen sycamore as tribute to the historic El Aliso tree, an ancient sycamore which served as a gathering place for the community. The Aliso tree was of the utmost significance to the indigenous tribes and will serve as a signature icon of the project. Representing the values of community, family, and cultural heritage, this tree will appear as a constant thread and is reinterpreted by each artist in their own unique perspective.
Other elements of the project include a fine dining restaurant with rooftop seating, a Mexican teaching kitchen/museum operated by LA Plaza, and the Cesar Chavez Foundation’s new Los Angeles headquarters.
An important component of the project is the creation of a historic paseo that will link the Village, LA Plaza, Olvera Street, and Union Station, with a lushly landscaped walkway that will include new street furniture, lighting, and signage that tells the historic story of the area.
Johnson Fain of Los Angeles is principal architect of the development.
Barbara Carrasco, Artist
“I am looking forward to creating a mural that will reflect the spirit and prominence of the union within the broader Chicano Movement. 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
“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
“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 Angelenos, the Tongva Indians decided to settle. 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 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.”