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New mural captures WeHo history

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city’s Arts Division has installed “A Mecca of Bold, Retold,” a 140-foot-long temporary mural by Aaron Glasson, which highlights some of the historic figures and significant events in the city’s history.

The mural is located at , 8341 DeLongpre Ave., and can be viewed facing Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip.

Scheduled to be displayed through December, the mural features the history of West Hollywood which is rich with an array of artistic, progressive and creative personalities including activists, actors, producers, and poets and highlights some of the city’s most significant milestones and events.

The artwork was commissioned in celebration of the “Summer on Sunset: A Tribute to the Summer of Love” events promoted by the , which is the visitors bureau for the city.

The first six panels of the mural are an acknowledgement to the Tongva Native Americans, who inhabited the Los Angeles Basin and the Southern Channel Islands pre-colonization, as well as a nod to Moses Sherman and his most recognized achievement, the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad. Sherman was also the founder of the area of Sherman, which is now known as West Hollywood.

The historic brick four-story structure illustrated in the artwork represents theLa Fontaine. The building was constructed in 1928 and is representative of a significant pattern of new high-density luxurious developments in the area around Fountain Avenue.

The seventh panel recognizes the evolution of the area during the silent film era. Notably, Russian immigrant Allah Nazimova represents the height of the silent film popularity. Her mansion, the Garden of Allah, was located just outside West Hollywood’s border on Sunset Boulevard.

Nazimova wielded considerable influence and power in Hollywood as an artist, was bisexual and famous in Hollywood for her women-only pool parties held at her estate. Creatives such as Nazimova were early trailblazers who set a precedent that attracted other like-minded progressive artists and activists.

Other panels focus on famous or notorious residents of the community over the years, including Bugsy Siegel, Mickey Cohen, Dorothy Parker, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Rudi Gernreich, Henry “Harry” Hay Jr. and Judy Garland.

Panels 14 and 15 focus on the city’s involvement in the 1960s music scene that continues today with clubs like the Whiskey and the Roxy.

Panel 16, 17 and 18 highlight the early days of thegay rights movement and West Hollywood’s bid for cityhood, which happened in 1984.

The mural is part of the city’s Arts Division program, Art on The Outside, a temporary art program that installs rotating artworks in spaces throughout the city, including on medians and in park spaces.

The program is funded through the city’s Public Art and Beautification Fund.

Information: Rebecca Ehemann, public art coordinator, at (323) 848-6846.

 

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