March through June 2019

The Lucas Museum and L.A. Commons assembled a team of 21 youth artists (ages 15 to 25) to work with local professional artists to create original artwork for a collaborative community mural project. The completed artworks were then digitally scaled into a series of banners that were on display on the Lucas Museum’s temporary construction site fencing along Bill Robertson Boulevard in Exposition Park.

Youth artists in front of their murals

The youth artists were led through the process by acclaimed muralist Noni Olabisi, an artist well-known for her South L.A. mural “To Protect and to Serve,” located at Jefferson and 11th, and L.A. artist Luis Mateo. The artists helped to guide a process to deepen the understanding of what the Lucas Museum will bring to the community and what the community will bring to the museum.

Artist Noni Olabisi with a microphone in front of the youth's work
Artist Noni Olabisi

Hailing from local high schools, including 32nd Street High School, Foshay High School, Manual Arts High School, Orthopedic Medical Magnet HS, View Park Prep, and Crenshaw HS, the youth artists met weekly with the teaching artists from mid-March to early-June at EXPO Center to work collaboratively in groups on their artworks. The students were introduced to narrative art by the museum’s curators. Seeing these works from the collection helped inspire the students to tell their unique stories visually. The youth then spent weeks sketching their ideas and bringing them together into collaborative works with the guidance of the teaching artists. The final phase was transferring their sketches into paintings on large canvases. These painted works were then produced as large-scale works for the temporary construction fencing. The project culminated with a ceremony for the artists in front of the final banners.

A youth artist in front of their work

Student artists: Cristal Alvarez, Natasha Arnold, Lucia Barrera, Xochitl Benitez, Tehreem Butt, Emmely Caceres, Gisele Casillas, Frank Cruz, Nya Enriquez, Bryan Garcia, Leslie Garcia, Sandi Garcia, Chloe Norris, Ilse Pazos, Yesenia Primo, Sheila Ruiz, Naomi Samarah, Kimiaya Sealey, Aishah Sharrieff, Angel-Maria Vasquez, Kelly Wilson