Press Contacts (not for publication):
Greg Esser, Director of Civic Art, Los Angeles County Arts Commission,
(213) 202-5865, firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Chiavaroli, Director of Communications, Los Angeles County Arts Commission,
office (213) 202-5935, email@example.com
MEDIA PLEASE NOTE THESE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Biography of Kent Twitchell: https://wikis.otis.edu/otishistory/index.php/Twitchell_Biography
Patriotic Hall Civic Art project: http://www.lacountyarts.org/civicart/projectdetails/id/136
Helen Lundeberg mural information: http://www.lacountyarts.org/civicart/projectdetails/id/127
For Release February 25, 2010
L.A. COUNTY’S CIVIC ART PROGRAM
COMMISSIONS KENT TWITCHELL
TO CREATE MURALS FOR RENOVATED PATRIOTIC HALL
Famed Los Angeles muralist Kent Twitchell has been selected to paint three murals on the interior of Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, a downtown landmark built in 1926 currently under renovation. Twitchell’s artworks will celebrate the lost murals by Helen Lundeberg painted in Patriotic Hall during the Works Progress Administration in 1942. The Lundeberg murals depicted The Preamble to the Constitution, Free Assembly and Free Ballot. The murals are Twitchell’s first public art commission by a government agency in over 30 years.
The murals are commissioned under Los Angeles County’s Civic Art Program, administered by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. They are part of a capital project to renovate Bob Hope Patriotic Hall; under the County’s civic art policy, one percent of project cost is set aside for the incorporation of civic art. Renovation is scheduled to be complete in 2012. The 10-story building, located at 1816 South Figueroa Street and easily visible from the Harbor (110) Freeway near the Santa Monica (10) Freeway intersection, will house the County’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Kent Twitchell, an internationally-recognized artist known for his larger-than-life portraits of American cultural icons,” said Araceli Ruano, President of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. “Twitchell, a veteran himself, will have an opportunity through this civic art commission to celebrate another group of American heroes, our community of veterans.”
Twitchell, who works in a studio near Bob Hope Patriotic Hall, is known for his multi-story high, photo-realistic murals in the Los Angeles area. The one most familiar to L.A. residents is probably "Harbor Freeway Overture" (1992-93) which depicts several members of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The work is on the side of a parking structure that abuts the Harbor Freeway in downtown L.A. He focuses much of his art on what he calls “Monuments to American Cultural Heroes." In 1989 he created a monument to Dr. J, basketball’s Julius Erving, in a blighted section of Philadelphia and the mural was a catalyst for the revitalization of the area. One of his earliest works, now gone, was a monument to actor Steve McQueen on L.A.’s Union Street. Another of his downtown L.A. murals, the "Ed Ruscha Monument" (1987) featuring the Pop Art pioneer, made headlines in June 2006 when it was painted over; the artist won a $1.1 million settlement in restitution, but the mural, which took nine years to complete, could not be saved.
Murals can have an adventurous life. The Helen Lundeberg murals that Twitchell’s Patriot Hall murals will honor have been missing for more than 30 years. They were put into storage in 1974 in an adjacent building that has since been demolished. This commission represents a rare interior commission for Twitchell, one the artist hopes will be a lasting legacy for his grandchildren, veterans and all Angelenos.
Kent Twitchell was born in Lansing, Michigan, in 1942. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1960 to 1965. After moving to Los Angeles in 1966, he attended East Los Angeles City College, and Cal State University, Los Angeles, then received his M.F.A. from the Otis Art Institute.
The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Laura Zucker, Executive Director, provides leadership in cultural services of all disciplines for the largest county in the United States, encompassing 88 municipalities. In addition to overseeing the County’s Civic Art Program, the Arts Commission provides leadership and staffing to support the regional blueprint for arts education, Arts for All; administers a grants program that funds more than 300 nonprofit arts organizations annually; programs the John Anson Ford Theatres; and supports the Los Angeles County Cultural Calendar on ExperienceLA.com. The Commission also produces free community programs, including the L.A. Holiday Celebration broadcast nationally, and a year-round music program that funds more than 40 free concerts each year in public sites. The 2009-10 President of the Arts Commission is Araceli Ruano.
For more information please consult the Arts Commission online press kit: http://lacountyarts.org/page/pubnewspress