Work on the Little Armenia Gateway project started Wednesday, beginning a six-month effort to create a cultural public art display in East Hollywood.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place that was led by Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, the city’s Bureau of Street Services General Manager Adel Hagekhalil, the Department of Cultural Affairs and members of the artist team Gor Atanian and Armen Kazanchyan from the Atanian Art Center in Glendale.

“For decades, Little Armenia has been a gateway to immigrants of Armenian descent coming to Los Angeles, and this art installation will serve to not only celebrate our diverse cultural heritage but also acknowledge the amazing contributions of one of the largest Armenian populations anywhere in the entire country,” O’Farrell said.

“This years-in-the-making project would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of my team, the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Bureau of Street Services, Caltrans, the City Attorney’s Office and the Atanian Art Center.”

After landscaping is completed, the artists will assemble the “tufa,” a specific type of stone that is easily found in Armenia. The stone was imported from Armenia and will be chiseled on-site by the artists.

The art installation will serve as the official welcome to the Little Armenia neighborhood of East Hollywood, O’Farrell stated.

O’Farrell’s office said the city obtained a permit Friday from Caltrans to begin work on the small parcel it oversees on Hollywood Boulevard near the Hollywood (101) Freeway off-ramp.

Construction is expected to be completed by summer 2020.

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