On Saturday, April 29, in Hyde Park, Destination Crenshaw celebrated the Pull Up @ The Wall Redesign Project, the official launching of much-needed restoration of the mural. More than a decade of exposure to the elements has taken its toll on the extensive art piece.
The structure, built in the late 1960s as a retainer wall, stands 10 feet tall and stretches more than 800 feet along Crenshaw Boulevard in the heart of South LA. Reinforcement construction begins in May.
The mission of the Crenshaw Wall Restoration Project is to renovate the current mural and use a special coating technique to protect it against the elements and vandalism. The mural will be artistically redesigned by the legendary Rocking the Nation crew. Approximately 200 people were welcomed by custom lowriders, a DJ, area vendors, food trucks, and porta potties.
Destination Crenshaw President, Jason Foster co-emceed the event …
“Today, we’re celebrating and acknowledging the Crenshaw Wall as a community monument and celebrating the RTN crew ― the people with the artistic vision to tell the story of what our community aspires to be, and ultimately, how Destination Crenshaw is revitalizing our community and making sure that people understand how change will improve their quality of life,” said Foster.
“These artists have a new vision – displaying our history and our future, while building a better relationship with who we are.”
. . . While Senior Art Advisor Dr. Joy Simmons gave support to artists of African American descent.
“I’m supporting them by buying their work and making sure they’re introduced to some of the right people who could further their careers. There’s a lot of talent coming through ― not only street artists, but classically and university-trained Black artists as well,” noted Simmons.
“Now you’ve got the street artists and the MFA’s (Master of Fine Arts) with everything behind them to ensure they’re in the right place and can be supported by those institutions.”
Rocking the Nation has a history with the wall. ‘Ace’ on growing up in Inglewood …
“I’d stop to watch the crew working on the mural and fell in love with the displays and lettering. As I got older, there was always something new to see ― something I didn’t learn in school. That stood out for me,” Ace said.
Original members, ‘Cre8’ on managing expectations …
“When people come to see [the new] mural, they’re going to get a history lesson: The beginning of time, the creation of the universe, and what we perceive to be the future. It’s going to make heads turn.”
… And ‘Enk One’ on project management …
“After the prep work, we’ll do a high-quality masonry primer to seal the cement, an aerosol paint to leave a smooth, evenly coated surface, and a graffiti-protective coating.”
Meanwhile, ‘Mark 7’ readied the red carpet.
“Welcome. Take us as we are. Don’t steal from us but enjoy and embrace what you’ll see and learn. Then, take that back to where you’re from and tell others what you’ve seen here.”
District 8 Councilmember, Marqueese Harris-Dawson:
“The Crenshaw wall is the most important symbol we have. We want riders on the Metro K Line to know where they are, whose neighborhood they’re in, and what our contribution to the southern California dream has been,” the councilmember said.
“I’m proud of our community, where we have been and where we are now, and the vision for where we could go. Whether you come here by train, or if you live here, you’ll see a reflection of that.”
The mural is located at 4911-5107 Crenshaw Boulevard. For more information, visit http://www.crenshawwall.org/