Public Art is a Public Service


This was painted by  Rah Azul and is on Bradley Ave. in Pacoima, CA between Van Nuys Blvd. and Filmore.

Not that long ago, the area where this mural is located was lined with gang tags and what has historically (and incorrectly) been referred to as graffiti.  I say incorrectly because, generally speaking, gang tagging is NOT art.  It’s destruction of private and public property. (But that’s a subject for another post).  It would appear to me, an outsider, that the street art has elevated the community.  I could feel the respect that the residents have for these public art displays when I was taking the photo.  I was so involved in the art, I didn’t realize that I was actually holding up traffic.  It wasn’t until my husband yelled for me to “get out of the street,” that I noticed the five vehicles that were patiently allowing me to take in and ponder what they appreciate daily.  It felt to me that the people in those cars believed that I should have been there doing exactly what I was doing: honoring the talent of amazing artists and acknowledging their history and culture.

Just as the murals of artists such as  Rivera, Orozco, and Guayasamin inspired the people in the past, so do these public art pieces.  Perhaps it reminds them of their rich cultural heritage and dignity before God, at a time when political puppets and individuals filled with jealous hatred and fear strive to strip them of it.




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