by Bridget M. Rohrer
A mural symposium, sponsored by the University of the La Verne, is being held Monday, Feb. 27. The symposium, held 6-8 p.m. in La Fetra Auditorium, will feature four Los Angeles muralists.
Elizabeth Garrison, Victor Henderson, Noni Olabisi and Roberto Rubalcava will be discussing issues important in dealing with Los Angeles and minority representation in contemporary art.
Garrison has been involved in the L.A. art scene since 1992. She was recently commissioned by the Social and Public Art Resource Center in Venice for “Murals, 1993-1994.” She will bring her beliefs and ideas to the symposium to discuss with the other artists and guests.
Henderson is the co-founder of the Los Angeles Fine Arts Squad, a group of artists who created many of the murals that are distinct to L.A. communities. The Achenbach Foundation of San Francisco and the Chicago Art Institute have included his works as part of their collections.
Olabisi was the center of controversy over her 1994 mural,“To Serve and Protect,” which depicts Huey Newton of the Black Panthers surrounded by Ku Klux Klan members. It is a twist on the L.A. Police Department’s motto, “To Protect and Serve.”
Rubalcava, an L.A. artist, will present slides and discuss “the resonance of graffiti art in our changing society.” He uses Chicano influence in his art to “provide an understanding for people and move the community forward.”
“We must decide if contemporary art is to be entertaining or express true meaning,” said Ruth Trotter, associate professor of art.
The symposium will try to answer that question with its panel of muralists. According to Trotter and her student Lisa Scott, it is the purpose of the symposium to make people aware of what is happening in the world.
“The symposium was conceived by Lisa Scott and myself,” said Trotter. “It came out of Lisa’s grant last summer.”
She worked for J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu and the First Street Gallery in Claremont.
Many of ULV’s students are getting involved by meeting and discussing the mural that will be painted on the new wall next to the Student Center and the diversity that it should include. Students involved include Yasuyuki Nagasawa, Ian Scali, Ruben Salvador (who is not an art major but involved nonetheless), Elizabeth Alapizco, Elizabeth Gibson, Jeff Nicoll and Michael Arbogast. They encourage anyone to get involved.