With close to two years of planning, procuring grants/funding and fighting through city legal red tape, East Los Angeles Community Corporation has taken the initial steps in making the Wabash Recreation Center a family park that is safe, clean and not full of gang bangers. Both a community clean up day and a mural painting session were held Saturday July 24, bringing out Boyle Heights residents, families and kids in full force. Through the various grants ELACC was able to attain, improvements to the sites facilities have begun, such as installing new basketball courts, bringing in new bleachers and general baseball field improvements, along with a new mural designed by ELACC’s Wabash committee and designed by local east side artist Wenceslao Quiroz.
ELACC’s community organizing department worked with the Wabash committee in creating a design for the mural, asking families to submit ideas, sketches and comments on what the mural should be. Quiroz, who was commissioned for the piece after initial artist Raul Gonzalez wasn’t available, combined all of the ideas and suggestions and created the work that was being painted by the very families that help design it. He attended various meetings and worked with their ideas to create a concept they all loved and agreed with.
Fellow artist and Boyle Heights residents John Carlos de Luna and wife Kristy Lovich were also on hand aiding Quiroz, along with his two brothers, in guiding children and volunteers on painting the mural, setting them up with paint, brushes and encouraging them to get in touch with their creative side, getting messy and painting for hours. With Dj “nug” providing the tunes, the mural was colored in, waiting for Quiroz to finish the fine details in the next few weeks. I’ll post pictures when the mural is complete, till then enjoy the semi-time lapse pics I took through out the day.