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Art in the Community: Highland Park Cleans Up Their 'History'

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A scene from the mural (Image via LA Murals/History of Highland Park)
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By Kevin Mathews/Special to LAistA community may not be able to change its history, but as residents of Highland Park are about to discover, it is possible to clean it up. On Saturday, volunteers will work to restore one of the neighborhood’s most cherished murals, “History of Highland Park,” located on the AT&T building on Avenue 56.

Painted 34 years ago, “History of Highland Park” celebrates scenes from the community’s past. Since its creation, however, the mural has been covered in grime and graffiti, a deterioration that Councilmember José Huizar hopes to remedy. Huizar’s office has helped to organize this ongoing restoration of the mural, beginning with tomorrow’s kick-off event. Starting at 10 AM, sudents from Yorkdale Elementary School will wash the mural with soap and steam clean the artwork.

One of the mural’s original painters, Judy Baca, will be on hand to ensure that the project maintains the initial artistic vision. Since collaborating on this project in 1977, Baca has directed many of the city’s most prominent art projects, including “The Great Wall of Los Angeles,” which at more than half a mile long is one of the world’s longest murals.

AT&T will provide the funds for the estimated $78,000 project. Some of these funds will also be allocated to covering the mural with an anti-graffiti coating in the hope that the historical mural can be enjoyed untarnished by Highland Park residents for generations to come.