Tuesday, December 14, 2010
"Haramokngna A Place Where People Gather"
The many ways in which Highland Park has been a gathering spot—from Tongva settlement to birthday party in the park—are depicted in a temporary mural installation, a collaborative effort between local high school students and professional artists, on view on North Figueroa Street across from Sycamore Grove Park.
“Haramokngna A Place Where People Gather,” was dedicated November 21 during the Arroyo Arts Collective Discovery Tour.
Students from Franklin High School and Academia Avance spent 15 months on the mural under the guidance of artists Pola Lopez and Heriberto Luna. Its creation was spearheaded by LA Commons in partnership locally with Avenue 50 Studio.
“We watched our students grow and empower themselves, not only as budding artists, but also as members of their community,” Lopez wrote in the project’s Artist Statement.
The mural is hung at the GlenMary Archway, which leads to the home of Lupe Handy. Mrs. Handy, now 87, has cared for 150 foster children there. The mural is dedicated to her.
“What we did was akin to making a dress without a pattern,” wrote Lopez. “We dreamed it, designed it, cut out the pattern, sewed it together, embellished it with our images, and finally fitted it and had to make adjustments.”
At the dedication, Youth Artist Alex Soto explained how the students began their participation in the project by gathering stories. Then they asked people what they thought of Highland Park.
Youth Artist Heather Fuentes spoke of how her 15 months of participation in the project made her feel “proud to be part of our community.”
Fuentes expressed the hope that the mural will serve the continuation of Highland Park’s role as a place where people gather.
“Art helps us interact with one another,” the young artist said. “It doesn’t need words.”
The team of Youth Artists included Lino Aguilar, Michelle Aguilar, Cynthia Avila, Cindy Delarosa, Isabel Franco, Francisco Franco, Heather Fuentes, Evany Ibarra, Terri Jackson, Linette Martinez, Jocelyn Rivera, Alex Soto, Yomaira Tapia, Douglas Vasquez, Sam Childs, Genessee Cervantes, Sofia Garcia, Tiffany Garibay, Brian Hernandez, Adrian Manzanares, Thalia Torres and Amyleila Mejia.