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Monthly Mural Wrap: A Dozen Tags for July, 2013

As we wait for the proposed mural ordinance to reach City Council August 20, let's have a look at what else has been happening with murals, public art, and street art in July of 2013.

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LA Street Art Gallery has a photo by Gabriel Vanini that spots a lone fish on a Broadway building (see above). It's a close match to the view Harold Lloyd once had in "Safety Last" from 1923.

Harold Lloyd in Safety Last

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While dodging the Midwestern thunder and rain, muralist Kent Twitchell completed his latest work. While mentoring local artists, L.A.-based Twitchell's 40-foot mural of Ruby Dee is now on the walls of Karamus House, a historic African-American playhouse in Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood. The mural honors the favored actress, who was born in Cleveland, and a playhouse alum who often returned home to support the arts, reports The Plain-Dealer.

Ruby Dee I Photo courtesy of Kent Twitchell

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July opened with an editorial package about murals from the Los Angeles Times, seemingly timed for the ordinance moving forward to City Council. The ordinance had stalled at the time with concerns, including allowing murals on single-family residences. The stories went forward.

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A play about Banksy's time in Los Angeles is based on a true story. "Banksy, The Room in the Elephant" is a stage production about Tachowa Covington, who was made homeless when the water tank he was living in became a collectors item after Banksy painted the words "This looks a bit like an elephant." The play was written by Tom Wainwright and will presented at the Edinburgh Festival.

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The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education unveiled Shepard Fairey's version of art that will wrap city buses and billboards for L.A. Fund's creativity in education campaign. The ongoing hashmark will be #ArtsMatter.

Photo courtesy LAFund

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Ramiro GomezRamiro Gomez returned to one of the spots that inspired his "Hidden Hill" series; West Hollywood Park, where Latina nannys take children out for some time under the sun. While installing new pieces, Gomez continued to capture images on site, as you can see in the photo of a worker walking by, revealing how the artist recreates what he sees. "It was a moment that was not very meaningful at first glance, just a woman walking at West Hollywood Park," said Gomez on Facebook. "But what I couldn't see is what caught my attention, because this woman has a life of her own, I wondered who was she? Where was she going?"

Ramiro Gomez

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In Venice, David Flores installed a mural of Nelson Mandela in time for Nelson Mandela Day, and the 95th birthday of the ailing former president of South Africa. The mural is on The Venice Love Shack at 2121 Venice Boulevard.

David Flores

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Man One continues leading the invasion in Derry, Northern Ireland, and London England, with shows he's curating, featured in, and leading workshops. Other artists in this unofficial good will tour include Codak, Vyal, Bonzai, Isaias Crow, Werc, Erin Yoshi and Shaun Burner.

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At the Museum of Latin American Art, Gregorio Luke will present a new series of lectures on Mexican art: painting, sculpture, films and music, highlighted by full-size reproductions works artists like Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Frida Kahlo, reports the Long Beach Telegram. ADD: The Detroit Institute of Art's $2 billion collection is seizable and an issue "that art historian and activist Gregorio Luke wants to address at the next Mural Under the Stars," reports the Long Beach Post.

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Terminal 2 Departures Atrium Flow I LAXThe revived LAX terminal also upgraded its public art. Los Angeles International airport launched of its first public arts festival, "Influx: Art at LAX," which will remain on display until December 31. The exhibition features 11 large-scale installations and travel-themed artwork from 45 Los Angeles artists, as presented by Los Angeles World Airports and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Plan ahead. Some of the exhibitions are in areas viewable to ticketed passengers.

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Los Angeles is well represented at "Art Intersections: An Asian-Latino Pop-up Gallery" Aug 6 and 7 at the Smithsonian; Shizu Saldamando, Lalo Alcaraz, and Clement Hanami, are joined by Adriel Luis, Albert Reyes, Ana Serrano, kozyndan. Eric Nakamura,

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Wildlife and Calder Greenwood were at it again. Seen in this photo, taken on the corner of Spring and Fourth downtown, a surveillance camera is a reminder that Wildlife and Greenwood are always watching.

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Top: Fish on Broadway. Photo: LA Street Art Gallery

About the Author

Ed Fuentes is an arts journalist, photographer, graphic designer, and digital muralist who covers a variety of topics and geographies in Southern California for KCET.
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