Cambodia Town Mural Project Gives Local Artists, and Community, a Chance to Paint Big

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Graphic courtesy of the Arts Council for Long Beach.

As the start of the Cambodia Town Mural Project draws near in April, the Arts Council for Long Beach announced this week the artists who will be painting each of the eight murals.

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Launched In October by the Arts Council, the Cambodia Town Mural Project will install eight public art murals along Anaheim Street between Long Beach Boulevard and Junipero Avenue. The project is in partnership with Cambodia Town Inc., United Cambodian Community (UCC), Homeland Cultural Center (HCC), the offices of councilmembers Daryl Supernaw (4th District), Dee Andrews (6th District) and Midtown Business Improvement District.

Following the Arts Council’s public call for a videographer and muralists, the organization announced the artists this week, which were selected by a panel of local community professionals, according to the release.

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One of the murals will be created through community workshops, facilitated by Sayon Syprasoeuth, a professional artist and program coordinator for Living Arts Long Beach at UCC. A new, permanent mural will be painted at HCC, thanks to invited artist Jose Martinez who will lead community volunteers through the mural-painting process.

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Photo by Jason Ruiz of artist Angela Willcocks.

The artists who will paint the six remaining murals are Angela Willcocks, an Austrailia-native-turned-Long-Beach-local known for finding ways to bring communities together through her practice of drawing and painting people, such as in her exhibit OPEN and through her depictions of North Long Beach’s barbershop culture in 2014.

Bodeck Hernandez and Jason Keam, both local painters and illustrators whose practices often collide, (Bodeck assisted Keam in opening his North Long Beach residency), will each be painting their own murals during the festival.

Three murals will be painted by Long Beach artist Tracy Negrete, an experienced muralist who recently participated in Vice Mayor Rex Richardson’s Creative Corridor Challenge, Ricardo Vilchis, a graffiti artist born and raised in the Wrigley area of Long Beach and ZEINAB, who has painted murals in Chile, Cuba and parts of the United States.

A videographer, Federico Laguerder, was also selected to create a short film featuring the project from start to finish.

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Photo by Asia Morris of Tracy Negrete talking about her Creative Corridor mural with Vice Mayor Rex Richardson.

The Arts Council has also secured funding to cover the costs of the project through a grant by the California Arts Council and matching grants from the California Community Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, according to the announcement.


 

“The murals will demonstrate and signal our enthusiasm and commitment to making our neighborhoods more joyful while fostering safe public spaces,” stated the release. “The project encourages civic pride and supports the Arts Council’s mission to foster creativity and culture, enliven our communities and enable a thriving economy.”

The kick off for the Cambodia Town Mural project will take place on Sunday, April 2 during the Cambodia Town Culture Festival at the Mark Twain Library. Stop by the Arts Council’s booth to meet the artists and take part in two community art workshops in partnership with United Cambodian Community and Homeland Cultural Center.

This summer, the Arts Council will host a celebration and walking tour to introduce the finished murals to the community.

For more information about the Cambodia Town Mural Project visit the webpage here.



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