The restoration of an Echo Park mural means another mural must go

La Ofrenda pictured in 2011 | T. Murphy/C.C.2.0

La Ofrenda pictured in 2011 | T. Murphy/C.C.2.0

La Ofrenda vandalized by taggers in 2013

La Ofrenda vandalized by taggers in 2013

A new mural must be removed to restore La Ofrenda

The new mural that now covers La Ofrenda must be removed

ECHO PARK — After being vandalized by taggers in 2013, La Ofrenda, a richly colored mural that brightened up the gloomy underpass at Glendale Boulevard and First Street, is finally going to be repaired and restored. But there’s one complication. An unauthorized  new mural that has been painted over  La Ofrenda must be “relocated” to a new place as part of the restoration.

La Ofrenda, featuring a portrait of Dolores Huerta of the United Farmworkers Union,  is one of 11 Los Angeles murals of that will be restored at a cost of $400,000 under the publicly funded Citywide Mural Program.   The Social and Public Art Resource Center, known as SPARC, has been contracted to oversee the restoration of La Ofrenda, which was painted in 1989 Yreina Cervantes.

The 36-foot-wide mural had become virtually hidden under tagging by the summer of 2013 only a few months after it was featured as a “Mural of The Week” by the Murals Conservancy of Los Angeles.   Since the tagging, an entirely new mural has been painted over La Ofrenda. “A Nuestra Gente De Echo Park Los Angeles …. Never Lose,” is written in one corner of the new mural.

Part of the job of restoring La Ofrenda will include finding a new home for more recent mural,” said Carlos Rogel, a project manager at SPARC.
La Ofrenda will be fully restored and we are working with local groups to relocate the current mural,” he said in an email. In addition, there is an effort to “re-envision” the underpass space that go beyond restoring the mural, he said.

Rogel, whose group had conducted several assessments of La Ofrenda prior to the unauthorized painting of the new mural,  said that the original artwork “is still beneath the new layers of paint and vandalism.”

“We are in the beginning stages of the restoration planning,” Rogel said ” The majority of the original painting will be recovered using our biodegradable ecologically sound conservation process. The final conserved mural will be protected with SPARC’s MuralShield system, which we developed specifically for the protection of fine art acrylic and aerosol murals.”

The start of restoration work has not been determined.

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  1. “A Nuestra Gente De Echo Park Los Angeles …. Never Lose,” seems culturally unwelcoming and not in keeping with the increasingly diverse community of Echo Park.

    • Only to a bigot stuck in 1957. Otherwise, it’s a reflection of the culture and people who founded this city and a defiant gesture towards those who claimed it at gunpoint . . . Oh?!?), Now I see why you find this so “unwelcoming”.

      • Well with that shitty design I can barely read it anyway! Orange cursive text on an orange and red background. What genius thought of that!

      • Reality to Procopio: we are not stuck in 1957 anymore. This is a major city full of diverse cultures. No one claimed it at gunpoint from the 40+% residents of Echo Park who are foreign born. Get a grip.

        • ” This is a major city . . .” that is 50% hispanic, which is a dramatic increase from the approximately 15% it was in the 80s when this mural was first painted. Buy a clue.

          • Culturally Unwelcoming

            Actually, in 1980 L.A was 27.6% Hispanic. In 1990, a year after the mural was painted, the number had risen to 39.9%.

            Either way, so what?

        • Bottomline,, you epeak the code of a bigot and NObody in the know is fooled by your hostile attitude towards the dominant ELA culture. Buy a clue.

          • Yes, a lot of immigration happened in the 80’s, did wonders for the community. Not hostile, just know more history than you…..

      • @propocio

        here’s the list of the people that founded this city:

        Two are from Spain and a few of them are black! LOL!
        If anything, the mural is an indicator of the naco level of historical education in the neighborhood.

        • I wonder when it will once again be safe to consider catholic, spanish-speaking settlers, from Mexico’s interior to be MEXICANS? It’s documented history. Breaking them down according to specific race/ethnicity is a historically American phobia. Bottomline, it’s not your history to explain or revise.

          • @procopio

            Could you please translate the gibberish you just posted?

            It is just as much a part of my history as it is yours.

            K thx bai!

          • Culturally Unwelcoming

            perhaps it was done because there was no “Mexico” in the modern sense in 1781, and the people concerned would likely not have considered themselves “Mexican” …

          • WRONG Again. Mexico is the nahuatl term that the Aztecs used to self-identify themselves with. Moreover, upon booting out the spaniards, the newly self-liberated nation chose to self-identify with their ancient pre-columbian culture and not their colonial oppressors. This was the case as early as 1810. Simply put, OUR history is NOT yours to explain or revise.

  2. Both of those murals are hideous. Just a big mish-mash of bad art and tacky colors. And everything gets graffiti’d over by the shit birds anyway. Just paint the wall gray and be done with it. It will look classier than this visual vomit-salad, will be easier to paint over when inevitable graffiti happens, and won’t be flushing $400 grand down the toilet.

    • I agree. Bad on every level.

    • What a close minded, ignorant opinion. If Chicano folk art isn’t your thing, then say that. But to dismiss it as just bad is the least classy thing someone could say.

      • No, they are really bad. No sense of design or balance, it’s like they handed a group of kids some paint and said here just paint whatever wherever you want. It’s ugly, it’s an offensive eyesore.

        • neighborhoodwatchguy

          The art bespeaks the mind that made it.

        • Public art is a little confusing. its supposed to communicate and share ideas that relate to an area in an ever changing city. its also supposed to beautify and liven up the dull concrete of the urban landscape with all the variables included that make art beautiful to most people (color, form, balance) With this in mind my favorite is the middle one where some clever artist went berserk with a fire extinguisher full of off white paint on an otherwise typical expression of “Madre” art. It has socialism, individualism, anarchy, spontaneity and history all on one wall. The final work in blue featuring a ‘roided out jaguar god and some sad looking children makes me worry a little. Not really sure what “hope” message is saying. What we are hoping for? Its my least favorite. Anyway starting over might be a good plan but I worry that the applicants for mural work in LA might be more of the same people who paint terrible mini murals on electrical boxes. Sometimes less is more.

          • The jaguar warrior is a symbol of proud defiance. The children aren’t sad but pensive and questioning, i.e., the future wondering what will be the future of their people and the community they represent. It’s interesting to note the unsettling impression these images make on outsiders. The hallmark of thoughtful and provocative art. At least for those capable of reflection and deep thought.

          • “The jaguar warrior is a symbol of proud defiance. ”

            For whom?

            What nation?

            Aztec? (they’re 800 miles to the south by the way)


            What about Apache?


            Different nations have different beliefs.
            ie; you don’t even know your own history.

          • it looks like they are being stalked by a nut case with a dagger in the night. i read about the jaguar warrior. he captured and murdered. gotta admit its pretty weird for public art. might make a bad ass tattoo for a tough guy though. looking at it more i keep hoping spiderman shows up.

          • Those children in the second mural are really ugly

    • Tony the Main Spoon

      “Tacky colors” Ahhshuttup!

      Did you get a lesson in art criticism from so-called eastsidearts, who has previously admitted to not having a creative bone in his body, only to rehash the stupid “not culturally welcoming”. Whether you old skunks like it or not, both murals will be brought back. I suggest all the haters bid on creating their own designs for future electric box art projects on local street corners. Diversify the streets on your own ya big cry babies!

      (message delivered via iphone while at a stop sign)

      • If you really think that ugly mess of diarrhea is good art, then you’re the one without a creative bone in your body. The murals may be brought back but then people from the same “raza” will be the ones destroying them again with their tagging.

        • It’s your Race that distroy our cultural murals, those white boys with the rotten teeth, and wax markers. It’s your people doing the crime. Hope your children marry super dark people so you learn to appreciate color.

      • “eastsidearts, who has previously admitted to not having a creative bone in his body”

        ?!?!? Put down the crack pipe and STFU.

        You’d be lucky to get 1/16 of my creative bone……

        • Tony the Main Spoon

          Haha! Such harsh language from a no-show.

          Where is your art? (Yawn)

          1/16? Your funny. There is an (offensive) street art show on Sunset Blvd right on the same block as the Short Stop bar in Echo Park, right next door to the United Gas station. Show up there and tell them what’s up! Get angry with the sight of all of those so-called eastsiderartists in person. Nah! This Saturday night, I bet you will just hide behind your computer/phone, waiting for other replies that pop up on this thread.

          (this message was sent via iphone at Patra Charbroiled Burgers)


      • What world are you living in? You can’t sue somebody for saying that your art looks like shit. What does this have to do with racial “tentions”? We’re just agreeing that those murals are ugly tacky ghetto garbage.

        • That’s bigoted code for “non-white” and/or xenophobic code for “unamerican” when in actuality the images contained in this mural are distinctly native-American with origins that precede 1492 and the”manifest destiny” that robbed, murdered, and displaced everyone else at gunpoint. It’s understandable why these images are unsettling for some people. The robbed and displaced are not only still here, they’re the MAJORITY and thinking hard about the future of our community . . . sleep tight!

  3. Speaking of murals, I just saw the notice about the mural going up on the side of the donut shop at Montana and Echo Park. Very welcome addition to the neighborhood.

  4. Cool mural. BUT. is there a reserve to fund on going maintenence and to remove the inevitable tagging that will follow. If they plan on spending 400k to restore it, they better have a plan and funds to maintain it. WRT the taggers..it’s one thing to tag a blank wall but to tag over these murals .. such no class, disrepecting, ignorant assholes.. I hate these low life taggers so much..

  5. $400,000.00 to restore a mural. Well, at least the homeless will have a restored mural to sleep in front of …

  6. How on earth do you move the mural on top without damaging the mural underneath??
    Isn’t it just a layer of paint? How would they move it? I’m just curious, seems really impossible to me.

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