“City Terrace needs some murals”

That’s what Willie Herron III recalls thinking in the 1960s after moving to City Terrace, which lacked public art, let alone any museums or galleries.  Herron, who later emerged as one of the area’s leading Chicano artists, and others eventually painted numerous murals across the stores, churches, alleys  and apartments that line the hilly streets of City Terrace. But many of those public artworks have faded away or disappeared completely. Now, Herron and others are trying to revive interest and appreciation of the City Terrace murals among a younger generation.

Herron appears in a new video – Surrounded by Art: The Murals of City Terrace – produced by the students and staff of the City Terrace Library.   It serves  as a lesson in neighborhood and art history. The murals were needed, said Herron, so “when people drive by and go walk to the store…they are surrounded by art.”


  1. I’ve never seen a mural which I would call art. Some qualify as good craft, but many are just eyesores and look created by someone on a bad meth trip. I’ve viewed true art all my life, and I’ve met and known true artists. But calling common Los Angeles murals “art” is really an affront to real artists. We need to have more respect for true art and we also need higher standards for the use of that word.

    • “The wall that cracked open” by Willie Herron is known all over the world as one of the most important pieces of public mural related art, if not THE most important. To not find artistic merit in this piece of art only shows how narrow your scope of the definition is. Also he’s a genuinely cool guy who works tirelessly preserving many important murals in Los Angeles, a lot of them not his own. Opinions are like buttholes, I guess….

      • Sorry, Moody, for I am not joining in the “group think” of folks you may point to as proof of artistic merit. In the mural you mention, I see a bombastic and over the top effort of trying to convey various emotions and circumstance, but that does not qualify it as art. I would agree that the mural is evidence of a degree of craft. That being said, the piece does not move me, and it makes me turn away from it. Opinions are like other organs, like the brain, the eyes, and the heart, and yes everyone has one. Trying to reduce my opinion in the crude manner you did is in keeping with someone who would find that work “artistic.”

        • Yes, but you describing these murals as eyesores, created by someone on a bad meth trip is surely taking the high road? Please educate us on what good art is? I recall Jean-Michel Basquiat’s paintings being quite bombastic, conveying various emotions and circumstance. Or is City Terrace geographically relegated only to folk art?

  2. I too have an elitist opinion on things.

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