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New Sylmar Mural Pays Homage To The San Fernando Valley’s Past And Present

A team of artists on a boom lift working on a bright colored mural that shows palm trees and a large green and red parrot.
A crew works on "A Valley in Time," a mural by artist Erica Friend and 11:11 Projects.
(Erica Friend)
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A new mural celebrating the history of the San Fernando Valley is now on full display on the back wall of a Sylmar showroom.

At 289 feet long and 30 feet high, "A Valley in Time," from artist Erica Friend, adorns the wall of local business Three Hands Corp. on Ralston Avenue. It pays homage to the Valley’s past and present, with a nod to the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians.

The mural was commissioned by City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, who represents the area, and was unveiled last Friday. It depicts agricultural fields, hiking trails, tree-lined streets, the sun shining down on the mountains and the phases of the moon, along with pictographs and a brush hut — all of it meant to capture the essence of this place across time. It also includes wildlife, like owls and butterflies and even the screeching wild parrots that can be seen perching in trees and flying over certain Southern California communities.

Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Friend said she was nervous about taking on a piece so big, but she ultimately jumped at the chance.

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"I've stayed pretty local most of my life, so when they asked me to do this mural, it's almost like a gift to Sylmar or like an homage to all the things that I remember growing up," Friend said.

Friend worked alongside other local artists and the nonprofit group 11:11 Projects.

Rodriguez said the space had been repeatedly covered in graffiti and hopes the project will inspire pride in the community and help deter future acts of vandalism.

The work "transforms a highly visible space from eyesore and blight to a celebrated art piece that captures the uniqueness of Sylmar" through the eyes of a local muralist, Rodriguez said.

Situated along the Metrolink at San Fernando Road and Roxford Street, it’s also sure to attract the eyes of passers-by.

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