(Mictlan Murals) began painting murals to help stop Gang Graffiti in our community, raised in Aliso Village Housing Projects, and Estrada Courts Housing Projects, Mictlan Murals was created due to the need for unity in the community and the pain of loosing friends and family to gang violence.We made art that show our common ground as people, Involving the local youth in the creation process and putting images that project culture, family values, respect, knowledge of self and pride which we hoped would raise our self esteem as a people and community.
Many of the murals lasted over 8 years without being vandalized at minimum 5 years, but everything changed around 2003, community artists started losing all public and private funding, when the country entered into War with Iraq and the economy collapsed, as a result there was no consistency in maintaining a relationship with the youth and the murals in the most neglected areas in our community. A new generation of youth grew up without having direct contact with the murals; without the continued oral tradition and maintenance of the messages on the walls, for many youth the walls loose relevance and some fell like disrespecting them because they don’t have a connection to it anymore. We can't blame the youth!
We have started a restoration project to introduced the community to these murals, to restore the most damaged of walls. Some of them are tagged, others have been damaged by the elements. The main objective is to introduced community youth to murals, to show them how to tell their stories and have ownership of the painting on the walls. They are learning how to properly clean up and restore a mural as well as designing and drawing and painting of the murals. Out of 15 murals So far 3 murals have been restored.
Murals tell the story of a place in time. Its the story of us all and those murals need to be restored and new murals need to be painted and that's what we are doing in LA.
Funded by Los Angeles, CA (September 2013)