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.
Posted by Edward Rivera at 9:49 PM
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Thanks for adorning the archway that leads to the apartment complex where I live. It is greatly appreciated. Such attention to detail- those strangely wonderful parrots I so often see around, the festive birthday parties in Sycamore Park, Charles Lumas's castle, the serpentine train tracks (that are part film stock as movies are often shot in the 50's Avenues), the Tungva Indian heritage (being that the museum is right here where they once lived), the big groups of bikers that I've seen converging down Marmion at night, and even that damn skunk you know is out there at midnight!- this and more are faithfully captured on your grand tapestry. You really did your research well. I've lived in this wonderful neighborhood for three years, and it is so nice to see a beautiful mural commemorating it. Such a lovely idea to have the mother and father spirits of the neighborhood overlooking the archway of the entrance with such tender concern right underneath what looks like a clock of the seasons, so to speak, with each inset dolphin image representing spring, summer, fall, and winter- a mix of playful grace and tribal wisdom gently yet vibrantly entreating all who live here to have an ear for the past while keeping an eye on the future. Your mural tells a story that is true and fantastic all at once, and it projects that story into the future into a realm of "infinite diversity from infinite combinations"! It displays a tableau that is loving, nuturing, and caring while being adventurous, bold, and magnficent, for from but a small seed can arise a might oak! That great Spanish archway, with its nave-like stairway leading up to the inset Guadalupe shrine now residing, was just waiting for such a gift from gifted artists, and its realization could not have been better conceived or rendered. Thank you.
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