At Dockweiler State Beach, which is open at night for public fires, the MobileMuralLab transformed the concession and restroom buildings with “Where We Are From,” a 2,000 sq ft collaborative mural. During the summer, in a series of civic engagements named “Nite-Write,” beachgoers provided their names, hometowns, and personal beach stories, inspiring the subject matter for the text-based mural. In addition, 30 teens from community organizations painted words and phrases in aerosolstyle lettering to provide a background of blues and greens. The west wall of the main concession building hosts translucent images of ammonite fossils that illuminate under UV light.
The Mobile Mural Lab
Roberto del Hoyo (’10 MFA) and David Russell (’11 MFA) Graduate Public Practice
The Mobile Mural Lab was conceived of as a public art project to respond to an L.A. sign ordinance that does not discriminate between commercial signs and fine art murals. The drafted language of the ordinance positioned original hand painted murals on private property as illegal. As a temporary, unconventional solution, alumni Roberto Del Hoyo and David Russell imagined that a retrofitted city search-and-rescue vehicle could serve as a mobile wall surface to paint over and over again, and the interior space could educate and inform. It could be the perfect legal loophole for visual/social expression on the streets of L.A.
After two years, the “Lab” evolved into a mobile art studio serving as a space for mural education and production. Del Hoyo and Russell teach the history of L.A. mural art, the politics of public space, and mural painting techniques. Collaborations with artists, schools, organizations and communities facilitate interactive mural painting programs, workshops and events. A custom curriculum incorporates art education standards through the lens of mural painting. Collaboration, teamwork, and dialogue are key components. Del Hoyo and Russell met in the Graduate Public Practice program. Each has a background in traditional mural painting and art education, and as graduate students, they conceptualized artistic strategies that use the mural both as a social space and as a departure point for dialogue revolving around critical issues. The MobileMuralLab allows people to creatively express themselves in public, where advertising dominates the visual landscape.
Mobile Mural Lab
Roberto Del Hoyo
Roberto Del Hoyo was born and raised in Los Angeles. He received his bachelor degree in Studio Art with concentration in painting from the California State University of Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited in the Los Angeles gallery district, as well as on school walls throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District. Roberto has worked with students, educators and other artists to create these murals. His paintings balance brutal reality, and complete fantasy…probably a reflection of the reality-bending experience of being Chicano in South Central Los Angeles, where life itself can be filled with disbelief; and imagination is necessary for survival.
Featured in Art Slant
David Russell paints elements of the natural world on large-scale walls and canvases, motivated by the visual aesthetic found in mountain and ocean environments across the globe. David graduated from University of Tulsa with a B.F.A. in Painting/Art history. He spent one year in Florence, Italy, studying Painting, Art History and Italian Language. Additionally, he pursued a professional teaching license in Art Education and has eight years of K-12 public school teaching experience. Russell’s large format painting background has inspired the creation of his own mural painting company called Idealwallarts. Projects have ranged from hand painted wall signs, custom canvases, to large format pictorials.
Mobile Mural Lab has collaborated with several communities and organizations in Boyle Heights, MacArthur Park, Huntington Park, Downtown, Whittier, Riverside, Pasadena, Culver City, Santa Monica, Venice, Playa Del Rey, Inglewood, Wilmington, Hollywood, and others.