Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles

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Artist of the Month Interview | November 2012 | Oscar Magallanes

Oscar Magallanes was born June 11th, 1976 in Duarte, CA. He grew up just a few miles away in the Azusa barrio. His artwork is heavily influenced by the cultural and social elements of his upbringing. He recalls, “The first art I saw were murals of Zapata and Mexica glyphs from the Chicano movement. These were juxtaposed next to homeboy role calls and Old English writing. I didn’t see a gallery or museum until I was 15.” After a troubled youth and his expulsion from high school at the age of fifteen, Oscar was accepted into the Ryman Arts program which he credits with encouraging him to pursue a career in art. He returned to Gladstone High School, receiving his diploma in 1994. At the age of 19 he moved to Phoenix, Arizona, returning in 1996. He currently resides in the city of Pomona California.

Featured Artist of the Month | October 2012 | Judy Baca

I was born in a place now known as Watts, at 85th and Central. My mother was a single parent and we lived in a little house, it was a duplex in South Central in the Watts area. At the time, it was right after the war, 1946 I was born, and right after the war, Watts was actually filled with Turnip fields and chicken farms and a kind of vibrant African American Latino community. You could walk down to the corner and you could pick the chicken that they would ring the neck of and then you would cook it. Or you would, as my cousins did with me when I was very small, small enough to fly between the hands of two of my bigger cousins, we would run through the turnip fields and steel turnips. Heaven knows what for because they tasted so terrible. I was always very disappointed when we went to steel turnips and they were really hot and they burned your mouth. I was raised with my grandmother, Francisca, who took care of me when my mother worked at the Good Year tire factory, and I lived with my grandmother and my aunt Rita, who was and still is a wonderful ranchera singer.

Featured Artist of the Month | September 2012 | Michael Massenburg

One of the great things about when I’m in the process of creating paintings on the streets or murals, people come by and stop to talk to you. That’s really, to me, the jewel of it. They offer to donate money on the spot or they bring you something to eat or just the conversation or talking about who’s in the mural that they know or talking about “we’re going to protect this because this is ours.” Its great to get recognition through newspapers, magazines, critics, and the commissions are great but when you connect with the people that live with these pieces everyday, I think that’s really what the heart and beauty of it is.

Featured Artist of the Month | August 2012 | Glenna Avila

Painting as part of the Olympic Arts Festival, that was a huge honor and really an exciting time because the Olympics were coming to L.A. and ten artists were selected to paint murals on the freeways. So that was great. The amount of attention the Olympics received with not only local press, but international press, was significant. We had lots of interviews and photo shoots. I remember an interview on the freeway with a Japanese film crew and then there was a German film crew and then people were just walking down the freeway. I remember some people were walking down the freeway and I told them, ‘don’t do that! You shouldn’t be walking on the freeway!’

Featured Artist of the Month | June 2012 | Noni Olabisi

Actually I was born in St. Louis, Missouri and we left St. Louis . . . uh, my mom died when I was about four years old. My father married a woman with five kids, and we were all stair-steps. So it was me, my sister, and my brother—three of us—and so we left St. Louis where my mom passed, to move . . . we stayed about five years in some part of Arkansas, then we moved here to California. So I consider myself really a native of California because I've been here most of my life; for at least fifty, about fifty years, yeah.

Featured Artist of the Month | May 2012 | Carlos Callejo

Carlos Callejo is a multifaceted artist and muralist. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Carlos moved to Los Angeles at the age of seven where he stayed during his high school and college years. He has painted over one hundred murals throughout the United States and abroad. His murals depict the Chicano experience in the barrios of the United States, and historic events that have shaped our world.

Featured Artist of the Month | April 2012 | Adam 'Codak' Smith

This months featured artist interview is with Adam 'Codak' Smith, a mixed media muralist and graphic designer. Codak has painted all over the United States and in parts of Canada and Europe. His work is a testament to the beauty of abstract line and organic shapes, and how they interact with each other to create a unique experience to all that see it.

Organic Stimulus Speech by MCLA President Bill Lasarow

For those of you unable to visit the unveiling ceremony of Organic Stimulus this past Sunday March 11th, here is audio of one of the speakers, Bill Lasarow, the President of the Mural Conservancy. Listen to what he thinks the changing power mural art has for Los Angeles.


Featured Artist of the Month | March 2012 | Vibul Wonprasat

Name:  Vibul Wonprasat

City of origin: Thai, active in America since 1979.

Featured Artist of the Month | Feb 2012 | Ernesto de la Loza

For the February 2012 installment of Artist of the Month, we interviewed Ernesto de la Loza while he was working to restore his mural, "Organic Stimulus," at Estrada Courts. Click to read the full interview.