Veterans Park in Central Long Beach could get a mural on its community center later this year that will celebrate the city’s diversity using the symbolism of nature.
Over the summer, residents were invited to think of themes and visuals that characterize District 7 to weigh in on the proposed mural in a survey. “We the Propagators,” is what artist Trinh Mai was able to create through community input.
A rendering of Mai’s proposed mural shows a butterfly, a moth and a bee hovering over a variety of native California plants. That design is set to be approved by the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission Thursday.
“Together, they tend to our gardens, hovering over hummingbird sage, California buckwheat and milkweed, native plants that are essential to these ones upon whom our natural world depends,” Mai said in a description of the proposal.
Mai said together, those insects “serve as disseminators of good seed, promoting growth in our shared environments”—something Mai said people share a responsibility for as “propagators of the land.”
The new Long Beach mural will add to Mai’s public art portfolio, following her recent completion of a mural inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX.
If approved by the commission, the mural would be installed on a wall on the south side of the Veterans Park community center, which faces East 28th Street. The commission has to approve a right-of-entry permit for Mai to begin work on the mural, which is expected to happen in the coming weeks.
The permit would allow the mural to stand for at least the next year, but the city would have the discretion to extend the permit length by up to nine years, according to the commission’s agenda.
Mai’s mural proposal is part of a plan to enliven public parks around Long Beach. The initiative is a collaboration between District 7 Councilmember Roberto Uranga and the Arts Council for Long Beach to install seven new murals in the district. Admiral Kidd, Hudson, Silverado, Los Cerritos and the Wrigley Heights Dog Parks have all gotten new murals under the initiative since 2021.