A settlement was reached under which the the iconic mural “Hitting the Wall” on the Harbor (110) Freeway will be restored at the expense of Metro and Caltrans.
Artist Judy Baca, co-founder of the Social and Public Art Resource Center, painted the mural in celebration of the first women marathon runners, competing in the 1984 Olympics. The artwork was whitewashed at the beginning of Women’s History Month in March 2019, erasing what some said was a historic milestone for women from the walls of Los Angeles.
“Hitting the Wall” was one of 10 murals originally commissioned by the International Olympic Committee and features a 20-foot female runner enveloped by sunshine breaking through walls and barriers to reach the finish line. “There was a wonderful body of work in Los Angeles of murals and they were in every neighborhood of the city,” Baca said. “We’ve lost at least 60% of them, if not more, particularly within communities of color.”
SPARC reached the accord with Metro and Caltrans. The group will continue advocating for better policies and procedures that prevent the defacement of public art and hopes that their plan will serve as a model for the protection of the thousands of public artworks that are vulnerable to damage under the supervision of public agencies, said SPARC executive director, Carlos Rogel.
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