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292-foot-long ceramic serape to unfold in El Sereno

The general tile patterns and elevation chart for “El Sereno Serape,” by Sonia Romero/Courtesy of L.A Cultural Affairs (DCA)

By BARRY LANK

El Sereno  – A new serape-themed mural is in the works for Alhambra Avenue near Lowell Street.

The city’s Cultural Affairs Commission has approved the concept by artist Sonia Romero for “El Sereno Serape.”  According to a project description, the project will feature “a ceramic tile mural that uses the colorful, striped pattern of a serape blanket to share the stories of the neighborhood, its various landscapes, and diverse cultures.”

The mural is sited for a 292-foot-long retaining wall, with a variable range of heights, on the north side of Alhambra Avenue. The wall was built about a year ago to create more room for a new sidewalk near the El Sereno Arroyo Playground.

The project is funded at $100,000 through the City’s Art Development Fee program, according to Felicia Filer, public art division director from the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA).

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3 comments

  1. How is this

    “a ceramic tile mural that uses the colorful, striped pattern of a serape blanket to share the stories of the neighborhood, its various landscapes, and diverse cultures.”

    when it’s really celebrating one culture. If a caucasian person wears a serape they are called out for cultural appropriation.

    • I had the same thought. Also “cultural appropriation” is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, wear whatever you want to wear, listen to whatever you want to listen, eat whatever food you want to eat. It’s called freedom. I’m Hispanic and if a white person wants to wear a sarape and a sombrero I will actually take that as a sign of respect to our culture, unless you’re doing in a mocking way of course, that’s a different story.

    • Totally agree! While this may be a beautiful piece of art, it does not accurately reflect our diverse community. These objections were voiced to Department of Cultural Affairs, yet they ignored the community’s comments. While we are grateful to have the opportunity to have art adorn this corridor, DCA disenfranchised our community in the process. Hopefully, they will rectify the situation and allow us another opportunity to have a REAL say in the selection.

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