Murals take the stage at EPIA neighborhood issues meeting

A Chango mural concept

One of the iconic symbols of Echo Park, and one that residents take a lot of pride in, are the colorful murals that decorate our streets. The Sunset Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue mural is one of the most iconic, but look around a little more and you’ll start to notice a myriad of new and old designs that give this neighborhood a colorful background.

Cock-fight mural. Flickr photo via Michael Taft

You may have noticed some changes happening at Chango, which is undergoing minor renovations under new ownership (Jenna Turner, who owns a Susina Bakery on Beverly Boulevard, and Fix Coffee owner Marc Gallucci). But the new owners weren’t prepared for the community’s reaction when they white-washed the property’s cock-fight themed mural. We’re glad they arrived at last night’s Echo Park Improvement Association’s Neighborhood Issues Committee meeting to address any concerns, and assure everyone that they didn’t mean to offend anyone by painting over the mural.

That corner has been through a couple of murals the past decade or so – first there was the more infamous painting of chickens by artist Aaron Donovan, a piece painted because of the corner’s “Chicken Corner” nickname. The original mural was removed when Chango put in windows at that wall. Then a few years ago, the cock-fighting themed mural took its place.

Jenna assured committee members last night that they did, indeed, get permission from the original muralist Richard Meinhardt via the new artist, by the name of Axis,  to remove the piece. Pictured above is a new concept (not the final, final one yet) the new owners designed for the new mural, but at the EPIA meeting said that they were open to including a chicken in there somewhere.

One mural that was saved, probably due to public outcry from coverage on news websites like The Eastsider LA, was the Logan Street mural decorating the former Pescado Mejodo restaurant. Senior Fish has been renovating the corner restaurant for quite some time now, but surprised residents when workers started sandblasting the mural.

Jesse Pimentel represented Senior Fish at the EPIA meeting, saying “We certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone.” Today they will have a retoucher, who has worked on the mural, bring back the mural to its state before the sandblasting began.

The lesson here is that Echo Park loves its murals, and there are many community resources like the EPIA if there are questions about the neighborhood murals. We have to give kudos to the recently opened Red Hill, which kept a colorful mural on the Montana side of its building even after a complete renovation.

As for Senior Fish opening, they are expecting a (hopefully successful) visit from the health department next week, and may open as early as one month from now. Chango is re-opening on Saturday, and will keep the same staff along with the menu.

  • d

    definitely a down grade :(

  • mindy look

    the new mural sucks!sorry I just think it is blah!!!!the cock fighting mural captures a place in my heart the new one well is something i would gladly paint over!it is a down grade!its kinda ugly and has no spirit to it.some dumb jerk was offended by the cock fighting mural im sure,but ya know what lets keep echo park funky and not paint over such a sweet piece of art!STOP FIXING WHAT IS NOT BROKE!!!!

  • Melissa

    I don’t take issue with the owners of the building wanting a new mural. As long as they get in touch with the artist, I think its their call. I love all the murals, but neighborhoods change and I think that its great that the art does too. I appreciate that there will be something new for the neighborhood to look at. And I hope in 10 years the art will change again.

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