LA’s Eastside has a long been the epicenter of the city’s Chicano muralist tradition, with thousands of murals paying homage to the community’s heroes, traditions, and struggles. One of the most iconic stand-outs of these Eastside murals is La Ofrenda, an enormous 36-foot-wide piece painted in 1989 by Yreina Cervantes which features Dolores Huerta of the United Farmworkers Union and tells a story about Latino farmworkers. The piece was vandalized by a number of graffiti artists in 2013, after being featured in a “Mural of the Week” program by the Murals Conservancy of Los Angeles. Two years after this crisis, the piece was completely obscured by a new unauthorized piece. This mural is titled A Nuestra Gente De Echo Park Los Angeles …. Never Lose, and its cultural significance and importance to the community will not be ignored by the restoration team. Luckily, a new Citywide Mural Program will relocate the new mural and restore La Ofrenda along with ten other murals in LA.
Work on La Ofrenda and A Nuestra Gente began earlier this month, and so far, progress has been fantastic. A Nuestra Gente has already been removed, and Cervantes is currently actively working with the restoration team on La Ofrenda. Carlos Rogel, a project manager for the mural’s restoration, has told news outlets that it took only a day to remove the tags and graffiti beneath the new mural that marred Cervantes’ original piece.
This work came about after the Citywide Mural Program was proposed in 2013 by Isabel Rojas-Williams. The Social and Public Art Resource Center of Venice is partnering with the artists, including Cervantes, on restoring 9 of the 11 murals; the last two will be completed by the Los Angeles Mural Conservancy. By preserving both the new and the old artwork, the group promises to bring light and joy to the neighborhood.
[H/T: The Eastsider]