Fundraiser launched to rescue a Mount Washington mural

Tagging has obscured most of themural | Photo by Martha Benedict

Tagging has obscured most of themural | Photo by Martha Benedict

MOUNT WASHINGTON — Just one eye of a Native American looks out from behind a small gap in a barrage of tagging that covers the Southwest Museum Mural on Marmion Way. Artist Daniel Cervantes and a team of volunteers spent about a year working on the nearly 150-foot long mural, which was dedicated in 2004. Now, a fundraiser is being held to raise at least $20,000 to restore and maintain the artwork.

The mural, when not covered by tagging, features several large panels depicting native peoples from across the Americas, according to a 2004 story in the Boulevard Sentinel.

This January, community groups led by the Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council   began fundraising to restore the work and develop a plan of preservation, monitoring and maintenance, according to neighborhood council member Martha Benedict. Other contributors are the Highland Park Heritage Trust, Friends of the Southwest Museum, Avenue 50 Studio and long-time local activist Ann Walnum.

The mural, located near the Southwest Museum Gold Line Station,  has been restored once before to repair the damage from vandals and moisture. Kathy Gallegos of Avenue 50 Studio, the Highland Park arts nonprofit,  said she has received quotes ranging from $16,000 to $20,000 to repair the work this time around. But that’s just the first step.

“We also have to think about continuing maintenance, and who will be responsible for that,” she said via email. “So our first monetary goal is about $20,000, but we will continue our fundraising for upkeep.”

Councilmember Gil Cedillo and The Autry National Center of the American West, which owns the Southwest Museum that towers above the mural, have both pledged to match all contributions, said Benedict

Contributions to help restore the mural can be made online through a PayPal link on the Avenue 50 Studio website.

Another way to give is to go on a special bike tour on Sunday May 17.  The Living Museum and Flying Pigeon bike shop team up for the “Museum Riders” bike tour of the historic greater Sycamore Grove area. The suggested $20 tax-deductible donation will benefit the mural’s restoration.


The Southwest Museum is located on the hill above the mural | Martha Benedict

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  1. Martin Arredondo

    Proper dos and Manuel medinas people disrespecting the original inhabitants of this area.

    • PD believes hispanic people don’t deserve nice things, just cheap rent and cheap tacos.

    • This is lame come on dude. The idiots that ruined this sweet mural are the same jerks that painted over the mural on the La Estrella stand on Fig and the traintracks, these asses also wrote the same tasteless letters in the Bo Tree murals on Fig and Pasadean Ave. These toys have been going around and messing up established art work all over HLP. Getting my blood boiling for the last year. Commentators here don’t be measure to these low life’s. Even True Freedom. jk TF

  2. I’m sorry but murals usually look like a tacky mish-mash of artwork that looks like it belongs on Cheech and Chong’s van. It is ironic that it’s the descendents of these proud noble natives the murals are depicting who end up just shitting all over them with their tagging.

    • To clump all murals into your description is not really fair. This particular mural was really nice. It was a very accessible humanizing image of native people. It sparked a lot of good conversations between me and my then-Kindergarten-age kid and native peoples, their history in the region, and our place here and now.

    • Martin Arredondo

      Non of these A-holes who tagged over these murals are descendants of these tribes. Most of these clowns roots only go back 30 or 40 years in this area.

    • Idiotic comment, man your stupid

  3. These were really nice murals and a community asset to everyone in HP , its hard for me to understand why people can not respect this type of public art. It was very supportive of native peoples, its hard for me to understand why stuff like this happens. I would suggest we go beyond public caning and remove fingers.

  4. Another example of how us “newcomers” are better at taking care of a community than ghetto renters who have no stake in their neighborhood and prove it by destroying art, dumping couches on curbs and littering.

  5. I have been waiting for months for something or someone to get rid if that garbage sprayed on those murals. They are beautiful. I hope to see them once again.

  6. Bring on the gentrification. Squeeze out the gang banger losers.

  7. Once restored, there’s got a be a washable clear paint that can be painted over, to wash over any new tagging? Anybody heard of that?
    Taggers are sore losers!

  8. I’m just glad there’s tension between newcomers and the Latino community, ha

  9. Newcomers thought they could come here and disrespect us, hmm mm I don’t think so get out of our community

    • Newcomers?

      What do you have against paisas?

    • Juan our photo

      HAHA! “Our neighborhood! Yes that is true as long as “our” means you and me brother; I just bought another property in Highland Park! Your new neighbors are going to be……OH NOOOO…….. PRIUS DRIVERS!!!!! OHHH DEAR THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!!!!

  10. Smh roflmao uh talking about guts who are you????? Yeah didn’t think so stop spreading lies and enjoy your new bike lanes on fig , ha

  11. I didn’t say I stole stoled a bike ROFLMAO, who are you stalker

  12. Sounds like you look up to me, stalking me on my page funny how I affect your life


  14. I can’t believe that the cops don’ t know by now who these taggers are and hold them accountable.

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