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.
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