News Release| CSULA; Cal State L.A.; Los Angeles; CSU; Walls of Passion: The Murals of Los Angeles; art exhibition


Notes to editors
and news directors:

An interactive map showing the locations of the 32 murals
showcased in this

exhibit can be found here:

Map of “Murals of Los Angeles”

Journalists are invited to the opening reception and
panel discussion

Saturday, Jan. 31. The reception is from 6-10 p.m. The
discussion begins 6:30.

To arrange interviews or request images, contact
Public Affairs at
(323) 343-3050 or

The following
individuals are available for interviews:

Muralists Paul Botello and Man One (Alex Poli)

Project leader Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, art history professor,
Cal State L.A.

Cal State L.A. graduate-student researcher/photographer Isabel

Rojas-Williams and others

Elizabeth Morin, director of Youth Arts and Education, City
of Los Angeles


Photos of seven
featured murals

are available for media use. They may be

viewed here, where they are
linked to higher-resolution images:

For your consideration, a brief sidebar – “Murals as
mortals” –
follows the
release text.



‘Walls of Passion’ to

on power of 32 L.A.

State L.A. launches photo-documentary’s run Jan. 31

panel of  muralists, students, cultural experts


Exhibit Details:

Where:         Fine Arts Gallery, Fine Arts Building.

California State
University, Los Angeles.

When:           Jan. 31 - Feb. 28, 2009.

Gallery hours: Mon. -
Thur. & Sat., noon -5 p.m.

(Opening reception,
6-10 p.m., Jan. 31;

discussion at 6:30 p.m.)

Info:             Free to the public. Call (323) 343-4040.


Los Angeles,
CA –

Scanning Los Angeles, some Cal State L.A. students found 150 vibrant
displays of passion along the boulevards of the city and beyond – and
almost all of them in plain sight.

Generally big, bright and bold, they are murals. For “Walls of
Passion: The Murals of Los Angeles
,” a photo-documentary exhibition
to open Saturday, Jan. 31, and run through Feb. 28 at Cal State
L.A.’s Fine Arts Gallery
, the students selected 32 of them for
further research. The walls convey messages ranging
from oppression to triumph.

Geographically, the subjects range from Rip Cronk’s whimsical
“Venice Beach Chorus Line” right at the beach to Man One’s edgy
“Protected by a City of Angels” about 50 miles eastward in Claremont. North to
south, they range from Thomas Suriya’s “You are the Star” and Dan Collins’ “Giant”
in Hollywood to Keith Williams’ “Becoming Conscious” and Terry
Schoonhoven’s “White City” in Long Beach.

(An online map with locations, descriptions and images of the murals can
be found here:
. A full list of artists is

At the exhibit’s opening reception Saturday, Jan. 31, Man One and three
other muralists featured in the exhibit – Cal State L.A. alumni Paul
Botello and Kent Twitchell, and Francisco Letelier – will be joined in a
panel discussion by cultural scholars, arts administrators, and students
who prepared the exhibit.  (See full list of panelists below.)
 The reception will be from 6 to 10 p.m., with the panel discussion at

The gallery, in Cal State L.A.’s Fine Arts Building, is open Mondays
through Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
For details, call (323) 343-4040.

For their culmination project for a graduate course last spring, the
team of 15 Cal State L.A. art-history students whittled a list of more
than 150 L.A. murals down to a particularly compelling 32. The students
visited the murals’ communities, documented the walls, photographed
them, interviewed people in the communities and the artists when
possible, and promoted the preservation of the murals.

According to course instructor, Professor Manuel Aguilar-Moreno, the
murals represent an array of cultures and ethnicities in L.A.,
including Latino, African American, Filipino, Anglo American, Chinese,
and Korean. There are roughly 2,000 murals in the Los Angeles area, he

“Their images show a legion of contrasting themes and attitudes,” said
Aguilar-Moreno. “Public and street art provides an opportunity for both
the self-expression and the self-definition of communities who are
frequently forgotten in our main cultural venues…. Community murals are
an empowering force that serves to tell micro-histories. They express
social and political struggles. They support their traditions; and they
communicate feelings of discontent, frustration, love and hope.”

The exhibition will be curated by the Art History Society, a Cal State
L.A. student organization.

For Isabel Rojas-Williams, one of the student participants, the project
itself became a passion. When graffiti marred one of the murals she was
researching – Paul Botello’s  “La Pared Que Habla, Canta y Grita” (or
“The Wall that  Speaks, Sings and Shouts”) at 3864 Whittier Blvd. in
East Los Angleles – Rojas-Williams restored it.

“Murals,” she said, “have happened from the beginning of time. You don’t
have to know how to read or write, but there’s a direct connection,
artist to viewer, in the passing of important stories.”

Aguilar-Moreno sees the exhibition as the launch of a five-year project
that will ultimately lead to a published “historical testimony of the
street art in Los Angeles and help us understand the social and
political realities of the communities represented in the murals.”

(See full list of
student participants below.

After its run at Cal State L.A., “Walls of Passion” is scheduled for
exhibition at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, he said.

# # #


Murals as mortals

“Murals live and die everyday,” said Manuel Aguilar-Moreno.

Some are whitewashed, he said, some are tagged with graffiti or
otherwise vandalized, and some are worn down slowly by weather and the
urban environment.

Aguilar-Moreno, a Cal State L.A. professor of art history, is
coordinator for “Walls of Passion: Murals of Los Angeles,” an ongoing
photo-documentary project with an exhibition Jan. 31 through Feb. 28 at
Cal State L.A.’s Fine Arts Gallery.

About 20 of the 150 murals researched for the project have been damaged
or destroyed in the past, he said.

Isabel Rojas-Williams, one of 15 student-researchers with the project,
said, “This is a constant change. Everyday murals are tagged. And, just
since we’ve done the research, two have been whitewashed.”

Also during the project she has helped restore two that were vandalized.

# # #


Muralists whose work
is featured in “Walls of Passion”:

Paul Botello assisted by Adalberto Ortiz, Gerardo Herrera, and Gustavo

David Botello

Dan Collins

El Congreso de Artistas Cosmicos de las Americas de San Diego (Mario

Rip Cronk

Boris Deutsch

Sandra Drinning

Dsyple One

Earth Crew (Erik “Duke” Montenegro, Benjamin James Frank, Jr., Rogelio
“Angst” Cabral, and Joseph “Nuke” Montalvo.  Coordinated by Helen

The East Los Streetscapers

Charles Freeman

Roger Hayward

Francisco Letelier

Man One (Alex Poli)

Christina Miguel-Mullen & the East-West Community Partnership

Mister Cartoon and T Loko

George Samerjan

Terry Schoonhoven

Eliseo Silva

Thomas Suriya

Roderick Sykes and Jacqueline Alexander-Sykes

Nelyollotl Toltecatl

Eloy Torrez

Kent Twitchell

Richard Wyatt

John Zender-Estrada, Nuke, Chose, Siner, Zuco, Scud, Cahli, Shandu and


Panelists for
opening-night discussion (6:30 p.m., Jan. 31, Fine Arts Gallery):

Man One,

one of California’s most recognized graffiti artists, is creative
director of Man One Design, which incorporates graffiti art into
corporate marketing and commissioned murals.

Paul Botello
a graduate of Cal State L.A., is a mural artist whose works powerfully
combine realism and symbolism. He has participated in significant public
and private mural commissions.

Kent Twitchell,

a graduate of Cal State L.A., creates murals in large format, mainly
about people, both famous and ordinary.

Francisco Letelier,

a Chilean-born artist, creates colorful murals depicting political,
social and other issues.

Holly Barnet-Sanchez,

associate dean of student affairs and technology and professor of art
history at University of New Mexico, is a renowned scholar of muralism
in Los Angeles, about which she has written many articles.

Roberto Cantú,

professor of Chicano Studies and English at Cal State L.A., is an expert
in the history and culture of Mexican Americans, particularly as
expressed in art and literature.

Michelle Hawley,

professor of English at Cal State L.A., is an expert in literary and
visual narratives among the ethnical communities of Los Angeles.


a Chilean-born graduate student of art history at Cal State L.A., has
considerable experience in social and political movements related to
art.  She is a leading student contributor to the exhibit.

Justine Bae,

a Korean-born graduate student of photography at Cal State L.A., has
used photography both as an art form and in social commentary. She is a
experience in artistic and social photography.  She is student
contributor to the exhibit.

Elizabeth Morin

directs the Youth Arts and Education Program for the Department of
Cultural Affairs of the City of Los Angeles.


a professor of art history at Cal State LA, is the coordinator of the
“Walls of Passion” project and exhibition. 



Erick Altamirano

Justine Bae

Elif Castellanos

Fernando Cervantes

Lisbeth Espinosa

Leslie Jacobo

Laura Lesko

Jeanie Kim

Tiffany Kim

Nicole Marquez

Lesley Negrete

Isabel Rojas-Williams

Kasia Somerfeld

Tiffany Staines

Taneka Washington

Professor Manuel Aguilar-Moreno

Project catalog designer Jimmy Moss

#  #  # 


Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 205,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12.
Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.


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