SPARC Restores Historic Venice Beach Mural

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August 05, 2019

Excerpt taken from SPARC website. View entire story here:


Right off the Venice Boardwalk, mixed amongst a plethora of walls spray-painted as Instagram backdrops and the few historic murals that survived, is a wall with a story to tell. The wall is home to Emily Winters’ mural Endangered Species, and though almost 30 years have passed since its creation, the significance of Winters’ work continues to grow with age. The mural was painted by Winters, her daughter Genevieve Cordova, and a community of youth artists in 1990, illustrating the history of technological advancements and development projects that have had detrimental effects on both the environment and on the quality of life for Venice Beach residents— particularly those within marginalized or excluded communities. It expresses the struggles of the working class, the elderly, and those experiencing homelessness during a period where the cost of living was rising quickly due to the push to raise the assumed desirability of neighborhoods by displacing those who had historically called those places home. 

This summer, with support from the Venice Arts Council Endangered Art Fund, local Park Place residences, and the WS Scharff Foundation, the SPARC Mural Rescue Team went out to the boardwalk to restore the mural back to its original brilliance. The mural is protected by MuralShield™, a coating that protects public artworks from vandalization and UV damage, which allows for graffiti to be removed without harming the mural underneath. Although Winters’ work underwent an earlier restoration back in 2014, layers of graffiti had been added on top of the work since. Endangered Species was painted as part of SPARC’s ongoing Neighborhood Pride mural project, which was a 14-year community arts initiative that produced 105 murals aimed to present and preserve the histories and aspirations of communities too often excluded from mainstream narratives. In a city that increasingly prioritizes the commercialization of aesthetics and image, the visual depiction of underrepresented communities remains ever-powerful. To preserve the work is to preserve an accurate, true history in the face of any and all efforts to subvert it. 


View entire story here:

Carlos Rogel, (310) 822-9560