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East L.A. Mural Restored 30 Years Later by Original Artist

Photo by LA County Arts Commission via The Eastsider LA
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The Eastsider LA gives readers a look at "Ofrenda Maya 1," a ceramic mural created in 1978 by Jose Luis Gonzalez which graces the exterior of the City Terrace Library, and explains why the artist himself was called upon to embark on a restoration project. The mural was one of the first Gonzalez and his associates did through their Goez Art Studio, which was founded in 1969; the group would eventually create many murals in East L.A. and mentor young artists. But the mural at the Library, depicting Mayan warriors on 432 glazed tiles took a beating over the years. "Not only had someone intentionally pounded and cracked many tiles, years of scratch marks and knicks (sic) from skateboards had also left the piece heavily damaged." The Los Angeles County Arts Commission brought Gonzalez on to do the restoration in 2008, which required his recreating over 100 of the tiles. The process took several months, and involved him "taking photos of each tile piece, carefully tracing and drawing each tile and then seeking to match the colors."

The labor of love for Gonzalez was finished recently, and now the proud artist hopes that the mural will do their intended job of both making the community more beautiful, but also educating the residents about their cultural history.

See the restored mural for yourself at the City Terrace Library, 4025 E. City Terrace Drive.