Mural Project

The Mural Project: Connecting our school to a larger historical movement
contact: Sara Harris

Solano PTA Vice President for Programs

(L.A. Times, Al Seib)The Solano Ave. PTA is planning a mural project along the staircase on school property, flanking the 110 Freeway as a means of student enrichment in artistic practice, collaborative participation, engagement with Los Angeles history, and education about the use of public space.  We have formed a sub-committee for permitting, funding, and design and planning of the mural.We are especially inspired by news that the City Council is considering limited repeal of a ban on murals on private building faces. Below, I’ve attached an excerpt of today’s L.A. Times article about the review of the mural ban. It’s great to know that Councilman Reyes recognizes and supports murals as a valuable part of Los Angeles’s historic landscape. The councilman is quoted in the article below.

We’ll keep you updated on this and other progress in connecting our school to the fabric of the larger community. We’d love to talk to the councilman in the future about how our vision and student engagement intersects with the with some of his offices greater initiatives in Solano Canyon.

L.A. Times on new mural ordinance being considered by the City Council:,0,5650934.story?track=icymi“Until now, city laws have equated murals with commercial signs, the legacy of lawsuits brought by billboard companies trying to preserve their right to place ads on businesses' walls. The city views any mural on private property as commercial signage even if it's purely artistic in nature.City officials said they need to make a better distinction between art, which should be protected under the 1st Amendment, and commerce, which should be covered by the sign ordinance."This city has been astounding in international circles when it comes to how murals depict our history, depict our diversity, how we celebrate our music, our art, our food, our traditions," said Councilman Ed Reyes. "And every neighborhood has a different way of interpreting their environment and the murals have an amazing way of capturing that."

In 1986,  the city issued a blanket exemption permitting outdoor murals. The law allowed muralists to flourish, but it also prompted lawsuits by the outdoor advertising industry, Blackman said. The lawsuit argued that if private businesses are allowed to commission murals without regulations, billboard companies should have the same right. In 2002, the city eliminated the distinction between signs and public art, effectively making most murals on private property illegal. Now, murals are only legal on public property if they are commissioned by the state, a school district or city or on private property in certain zones.

City officials said it's unclear whether historic murals are in violation.

Some City Council members want to tweak the rules to grandfather in many of the best-known murals of Los Angeles and create a way for more recent murals to be legalized. They may also put an approval process in place to sign off on murals.”

More to come!

Sara Harris

PTA Vice President for Programs

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