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Legalizing Murals in L.A.: Draft Ordinance to be Released Wednesday

The recently restored Jim Morphesis Monument by muralist Kent Twitchell | Photo by Gil Ortiz
The recently restored Jim Morphesis Monument by muralist Kent Twitchell | Photo by Gil Ortiz

A draft ordinance once again allowing murals to be painted in Los Angeles will be introduced at Self-Help Graphics on Wednesday, Councilmember Jose Huizar has announced. The news is a major step in reducing restrictions to the production of outdoor fine art hindered by litigation between the city and billboard companies since 2002.

Under the direction of City Planner Tanner Blackman, steps have been taken to define murals separately from commercial signs as "original works of art." The changes would enable artists to legally produce murals on private property with the consent of property owners.

Los Angeles, once considered the mural capital of the world, has historically supported mural programs that filled walls across the city with art, in turn influencing other cities to adopt similar community mural programs. Murals were banned for the most part in 2002 when the art form was wrapped into litigation surrounding the city's sign ordinance.

Councilmember Huizar's ordinance will be introduced at Self-Help Graphics in the morning and followed by a meeting with muralists and art conservationists. That meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at 6 p.m. at Self-Help Graphics and Art, located at 1300 E 1st St, between Mission Road and the 101. More meetings during a 60-day public comment period will be announced, including a tentatively scheduled one for Tuesday, December 13 at 7 p.m. in Leimert Park.

Here is a look at the draft for the new mural ordinance.