04 Jan COUNCILWOMAN MONICA RODRIGUEZ HONORS MURALIST LEVI PONCE AND HIS TEAM OF ARTISTS
FOR CREATION OF “RUSHING WATERS”
THE LARGEST ABOVE GROUND MURAL IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
January 24, 2020 at LA City Hall from 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Los Angeles, CA. (January 2019) Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez will recognize and honor the artists who created “Rushing Waters” the latest mural art addition to Pacoima, a neighborhood known as the ‘mural city.’ The ceremony takes place January 24, 2020 at LA City Hall from 10-11AM in Council Chambers. There muralist Levi Ponce and his team of artists will be honored for their incredible work on the mural.
“Rushing Waters” is the most significant public art project in the San Fernando Valley since 1978. At almost 10,000 square feet, it is the largest above-ground mural in the San Fernando Valley and will change the face of the area by removing graffiti with an artistic history lesson.
The art project began November 4, 2019 and was completed on November 27, 2019 at the intersection of San Fernando Road and Paxton, one of the busiest exits off Highway 118. The mural is 25′ in height and 500′ in length.
Councilwoman Rodriguez secured over half a million dollars for mural projects in the Seventh Council District and over $100,000 will be allocated to complete “Rushing Waters.” This is the accumulation of four years of planning and community outreach in the heart of Pacoima’s Mural Mile.
The mural is located in the heart of Pacoima, which is the gateway to San Fernando, Sylmar, and Lake View Terrace. The mural itself depicts the landscape of these areas, and features a 25-foot-tall native Tataviam village woman at its center. By special request from Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, who performed a special ceremonial blessing at the official mural unveiling, the Tataviam village woman was being painted by a female member of Levi’s art team (Erica Friend). Other depictions include landamarks Hansen Dam, Whiteman Airport, local freeways, Sylmar Aqueduct, San Gabriel Mountains, LA River, and more.
This mural brings together the full spectrum of our community. The team includes mural and graffiti artists with assistance from the Los Angeles Native American Commission, Walt Disney Imagineering designers, local businesses, and local community leaders.
This project would not be possible without the efforts of Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who after four years of planning, stepped up to provide single-source funding and helped cut red tape to bring this project to fruition.
“Rushing Waters pays tribute to our heritage and captures the spirit of Pacoima,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “This type of investment in our community has been long overdue and I am excited to be part of making herstory in our community.”
Levi Ponce says, “This is a historic endeavor and my team and I are extremely honored to be trusted with a project that means so much to Pacoima and what it will represent for generations to come. We hope this project serves as a catalyst for change not only in art but for the people of this beautiful City. For years, red tape kept this project out of reach — I commend Councilwoman Rodriguez for stepping up and making this project a reality for our community.”
ABOUT LA CITY COUNCILWOMAN MONICA RODRIGUEZ:
Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez was elected on July 1, 2017, becoming the first woman elected to serve the Seventh District and the third Latina on the Los Angeles City Council. As Chair of the City’s Public Safety Committee, Monica serves as a leading voice and expert on deployment of fire and police resources, emergency management, and Citywide public safety protocols.
Monica spent her decades-long career fighting for families and helping people in every role she had — serving as a municipal infrastructure expert, staunch advocate for affordable housing, and champion for small businesses. Her work has earned her a reputation as a bold, passionate, no-nonsense leader who gets things done.
Since taking office, she has introduced legislation to protect communities from wildfires, led bold efforts to shut down unlicensed cannabis operators, developed innovative initiatives to address the homelessness crisis with urgency and compassion, spearheaded efforts to establish a Citywide youth development task force, and ushered in pro-business policies to support small businesses. In 2018-2019, she secured $26 million in capital and public safety investments for the 7th District and will continue fighting for additional resources and creating good union jobs to improve the quality of life for families in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.
Monica is a graduate of San Fernando High School and Occidental College. She and her husband Raul have been married for 27 years. They reside in Mission Hills and have two children, Adrian and Elly, and a dog named Hercules.
ABOUT TEAM OF ARTISTS LED BY LEVI PONCE:
Levi’s murals are community-based projects that bring together a wide range of artists, businesses, and organizations, transforming defaced city walls into works of art for both locals and visitors to enjoy. These efforts to beautify and inspire people to take control of their communities have led to the re-discovery of the corridor now known as ‘Mural Mile’ in Pacoima, CA. In 2014, MSN’s Latinzine named Levi as one of the “Top 10 Latinos To Follow” in the United States. Since then he has been contracted by Walt Disney Imagineering to create artwork for coming Disney attractions around the world including: The World of Pandora, Frozen, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. He has also contributed digital compositing for such films as Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and VFX work for Interstellar (Winner: Best Visual Effects 2014). His work has been featured by The Skirball Center, The Peterson Museum, The Los Angeles Times, La Opinion, LA Daily News, PBS, Super Sonico Music Festival, Sony, Welcome to Los Vargas, Fox 11’s Good Day LA, Katy Perry, CNN Latino, CNN Business, BBC Mundo, Univision, Telemundo, MUN2, MTV Tr3s, Azteca TV, TECATE, Vans Art, KPFK 90.7FM, La Opinion, KCET, The Huffington Post, and more.
LEVI PONCE’S TEAM:
Artist/Muralist Erica Friend
Born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Erica Friend mixes her bi-cultural roots and postmodern perspective to produce paintings and art that bring together and attempt to balance her worlds. She does this through her imagination, passion and experiences in life.
Artist Cristian Cardenas
Cristian Cardenas has a passion for black and white illustration with concentration on realism. Mediums include but are not limited to spray paint, house paint, and acrylics. Cristian studied art at Gnomon in Los Angeles, known as the MIT of visual effects schools. He hopes to combine his education in computer graphics, with his strong background in hip hop and graffiti art to tell his own story, and thus add to the artistic history of Los Angeles.
Artist: Graffiti Artist: Gore
He is a San Fernando Valley native artist who has created his own style and is a prolific graffiti artist.
Artist Hector “Tetris” Arias
Graduating from CSULA in 2007 with a BA in Graphic Design BA in 2007, Hector “Tetris” Arias shared his artistic talents with LAUSD middle schools running a traveling mural program and teaching students the basics of creating wall length art pieces. Arias and his students have painted over 15 murals throughout Los Angeles.
Artist Jose Javier
Art has been part of my life since I was a child. Art took me to the next level when I was introduced to graffiti(street art) , I love creating something from scratch and making it my own, expressing myself in an intuitive level, collaborating with other minds allowing me to open myself to other possibilities. I am a family man and I love my community. I hope to continue inspiring my two sons and the new generations to make a great impact of positivity to world.
Artist Juan Pablo
Juan Pablo believes community art is an investment in the future. All of his murals are therefore built with community participation, so that others can also access this important artistic experience. He particularly seeks to include underserved youth in his process, to provide them with a model through which they can see a living example of how to follow their dreams and expand their idea of how they might innovate for themselves and their community.
Artist: Lisa Lee
Lisa Lee was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her interest in photography began as a teenager, photographing street life, live band performance and all types of artists. “Photos, not Snapshots” is what she lives by, and drives her passion. She is inspired to capture special moments as muralists create art.
Artist Mighk Rivera
Mighk Rivera (son of the late Latin music icon Jenni Rivera) is a street artist whose unique style and influences are making a lasting impression. Mighk began his artistic journey through graffiti, writing and piecing letters together. His friends in the entertainment world ran in the same circles as Levi Ponce and soon he and Levi began to work together and became good friends. Levi served as mentor and showed “Mikey” how he could channel his graffiti art into a creative outlet.
Artist Red Ortiz
A personal friend and inspiration to Ponce, Red Ortiz is known for his work on tribute murals to rapper Nipsey Hussle and Marvel Comic creator Stan Lee as well as many more traditional hip hop style “bombs,” “tags,” and “throw-ups.”