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2011 In L.A. Mural Art & Politics

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Photo by saberawr via instagr.am
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It's time for year in review posts, and while there are certainly more than a few everywhere on the web, today we were drawn to KCET's look back at 2011 in Los Angeles mural art.

It was a year of high, and low, lights for murals in Los Angeles. MOCA's Art in the Streets raised the profile of street art, and around the corner the LA Freewalls project served as an "outdoor gallery that demonstrated what the museum was documenting, complimenting the two projects." And the Pacific Standard Time exhibits have included many mural-centric shows as part of the sweeping region-wide art event.

But the year kicked off with the showdown between art and politics, and that tug of war was happening right in our own front yards, literally, as exemplified by the Valley Village resident who was ordered to have the mural she'd commissioned for her home painted over, since the city legally defined the artwork as advertising.

That definition is part of what artist SABER spoke out against in his unique "sky mural" (performance) art, when he used the sky as a canvas for words of protest.

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KCET's look back at the year also points to the ongoing legacy of Kent Twitchell, Caltrans' efforts support freeway murals in the face of theft and tagging, the restoration of The Great Wall of Los Angeles, Man One's trip to Ireland, the ongoing work to get an improved City ordinance regarding murals, and the ongoing litigation surrounding "African-American artists Charles Alston and Hale Woodruff's two site-specific murals in the lobby of the Golden State Mutual Life building."

One thing we'd like to add would be the mishap in the Arts District when a non-profit group covered over a longstanding and well-known mural with their posters, an incident that helped further the dialog among Angelenos and artists about the role of the mural in our communities.