Courtesy: Ioana Urma
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Wrigley Neighborhood Utility Box Murals

Long Beach, California

Ioana Urma (

Corner of Pacific Ave. and 20th St., NE Corner of Pacific Avenue and 20th Street Intersection, Long Beach, California, 90806
Also known as:  Wrigley Village Traffic Light Murals
Administrator:  Arts Council of Long Beach, Long Beach Redevelopment Agency
Date:  2011, 2011
Placement:  roadsides, roadsides, roadsides
Collection:  Long Beach Redevelopment Agency
Artwork Type:  mural paintings (visual works)
Material:  acrylic paint, primer (material)
Description:  The murals are based on street banners I/the artist designed as part of a community based public art project (Wrigley Village Street Banners). The community loved the designs of the banners so much that they wanted them to be also painted as murals.

In order to adapt the designs to the boxes, a series of small scale models were built to see how to crop and organize the original designs so that they: a. fit the context, b. create a good 3D composition together. The designs that the community favored were placed facing the main street, Pacific Avenue, and in the driving direction.

The designs mimic the banners as exactly as possible, minus the gradation, which, in order to make it repairable in the future, was changed to flat areas of color.

The designs of the street banners were based on topics the community felt visually and meaningfully represent their place, and in approving the designs: the sun + gardens (Banner 1); and the architectural styles that define Wrigley Village: Art Deco (Banner 2), Spanish Colonial (Banner 3), and Tudor (Banner 5).

The California poppy was used on Banner 1 to represent both the sun and a garden, promoting native species gardening.

To this series of banners, I/the artist added the bike path along the Los Angeles River Estuary (Banner 4), as it is a truly amazing park space, particularly for Los Angeles, and to promote the sustainable idea of riding a bike, which many people in the neighborhood already engage in.

The banners are drawn in a 20s-30s style (including the font) to correspond to the period of urban development during which "the village" was born. All the elements on the banners - though they have been re-shuffled and re-colored - come from the neighborhood.

All (3) boxes were together recognized as 1 of 50 national public art projects in the “2012 Public Art Year in Review.” April 2012, Americans for the Arts, Washington D.C.

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