Murals

CRP Artist Release Paints Vertical Elevator Shaft

In the world of visual, aerosol-based art, there’s the conventional, and then there’s the amazing. Recently, Release – a member of Oakland-based mural art collective Community Rejuvenation Project – accomplished the latter, painting a 30-foot tall vertical piece in a warehouse elevator shaft. Inspired by painting two outlines by aerosol legend Phase 2, the artwork upholds tradition and innovation at the same time. This highly unconventional–and possibly unprecedented–feat breaks the mold of typical horizontal art pieces and stands as a…

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San Jose and the Privatization of Abatement

CRP has been following and researching graffiti abatement policy for many years. One of the trends in the field of graffiti abatement has been the privatization of abatement and the outsourcing of abatement contracts from city Public Works agencies to private corporations. This short article is particularly interesting because the city of San Jose has outsourced its abatement services to Graffiti Abatement Coatings, who also makes graffiti removal products. One important point to note is that the city was forced…

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Guatemalan family uncovers ancient Mayan murals on their kitchen walls during home renovation

While CRP is opposed to the digging up of people’s burial grounds and the removal (theft) of indigenous materials from museums, we thought this was a cool discovery. We wonder what people will think when our murals are discovered in 500 years. The kitchen of a house in the impoverished town of Chajul, Guatemala, is the unlikely site of a major archeological discovery: centuries-old Mayan murals found under layers of paint. PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT SLABONSKI Lucas Asicona Ramirez, right, discovered…

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Venice Art Walls avoid closure with help of non-profits

Venice Beach is home to one of the oldest and most well-known legal walls for aerosol culture. Its is similar to the “free walls,” which are basically a spray paint free-for-all, with the important exception. It has a curator. In the past, aerosol writers regulated the production on walls by a simple code that if you intended to paint over another person’s work, the quality of the new piece had to be equal or superior to the previous work. Failure to…

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Ald. Danny Solis paying Muralists to repaint to remake 1.5 mile stretch of 16th Street in Pilsen

The Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago has a long history of Xicano artwork and murals. It is home to the National Mexican Museum of Art. A primarily Mexican community for many years, many people have been displaced by gentrification by the University of Illinois at Chicago, who bought up the entire Maxwell Street area on the other side of the tracks and converted it into bourgeois housing for its students. Pilsen has also been a target for development with the emergence of…

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Harlem Rejuvenated by Colorful, Eye Catching Output of Youth in Summer Jobs Program

Although the Community Rejuvenation Project was formed in 2005, it didn’t take off until the summer of 2009, when Elijah Pfotenhauer, Desi W.O.M.E and Mike 360 created five major murals (including 3 whole building pieces) in East Oakland with 30 youth employment through a summer program. CRP just completed another summer youth employment project on the Greenway in Richmond this summer. This article is another testament to the importance of harnessing the creativity of youth to brighten and transform communities.…

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More on the Chinese Consulate’s Attack on Pro-Tibet / Taiwan Mural

CRP has been closely following the unfolding drama in Corvallis CA. The Chinese consulate has been caught in a case of long-distance censorship, attempting to silence calls for Taiwan and Tibet’s independence and a cease in the brutal repression of their people. This situation speaks to the responsibilities and challenges faced by public artists. There are too many cases when public art (and the arts in general), when the artist criticizes are government or corporation and their work is erased…

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More on the Chinese Consul Mural Debacle

As reported earlier this week, Chinese consuls from the San Francisco office recently made the startling ill-judged decision to try and strong-arm a small Oregon town into forcing a local businessman to remove a pro-Tibet mural. Here, Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio slams the consuls on the floor of the House of Representatives for not only interfering in the domestic affairs of another country but also for being generally ignorant about the law of the country they work in. I’m shocked, and appalled, that apparently…

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How Mural Arts’ Restorative Justice Program is Reclaiming Lives and Restoring Communities

CRP has long been interested in how mural projects can be alternatives to the criminal (in)justice system. CRP has a long-term vision of providing vocational training and employment for  youth reentering society from Juvenile Hall. CRP is preparing to do a series of murals highlighting restorative justice issues as well as actively serving as a holistic solution. This article tells the story of one of the most established restorative justice mural programs, found in Philadelphia.   There are 3,773 murals…

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Siqueiros Mural Restoration in the Midst of LA’s Mural Moratorium

CRP has been following the controversial LA mural moratorium and ensuing policy debate since it began. In the midst of this struggle to create protections for public art, this story has emerged surrounding the $9.5 million restoration of a work by legendary muralist, David Alfaro Siqueiros. There is an interesting juxtaposition between the deserved reverence of this original master and the persecution of the legions of muralists that followed in his footsteps. América Tropical, the only surviving public mural by…

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