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L.A. Again Carries a Torch for 1984 Olympic Murals, Their Artists

originally posted on: The Los Angeles Times by Jessica Gelt
August 20, 2014

The party Aug. 24 has a name: “The Olympic Freeway Murals: Celebrating 30 Years.” The guests of honor: nine of the country’s most lauded muralists, gathered together for the first time in three decades, to commemorate the anniversary of artwork they painted for the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles event coincides with a massive project to restore the giant artworks. The celebration will include the unveiling of a limited-edition Olympic Freeway Murals box set of photography by John Humble, not to mention the presence of such Olympic athletes as gold medal swimmer John Naber and boxer Paul Gonzales.

Still, the stars of the show remain the men and women whose artworks are again enjoying their day in the bright Los Angeles sun.

“Why do we wait to celebrate them until they die?” asks the conservancy’s executive director, Isabel Rojas-Williams. “Why not celebrate them while they’re still painting and making history?”

The 1984 summer arts team is indeed an accomplished bunch. Street artists Willie HerrĂ³n III, Richard Wyatt, Kent Twitchell, Glenn Avila, Frank Romero, John Wehrle, Judy Baca, Roderick Sykes and Alonzo Davis all will be present Sunday. Terry Schoonhoven died in 2001, but his widow, Sheila, will attend.

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