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Public Art at LAVC
Kent Twitchell's iconic mural "The Old Woman of the Freeway" (or "Freeway Lady") is coming to Valley College! Originally painted near the Hollywood Freeway, the mural was lost when it was painted over in 1986. After many years of trying to resurrect this iconic piece of Los Angeles public art, the LAVC Public Art Committee has selected the repainting of Twitchell's "Freeway Lady" to be its first project on the campus. The mural will find its new home on the side of the college's Student Services Center.
by Kent Twitchell
Twitchell painted the "Freeway Lady" mural in 1974 to honor his grandmother who lived in Hollywood. The real afghan modeled in the painting was handmade by his grandmother. He choose character actress Lillian Bronson (1902-1995), who reminded Twitchell of his grandmother, to be his model.
It was a well-known piece of Los Angeles mural art stood on the exterior wall of the Angeles Prince Hotel, which is next to the Hollywood Freeway. It stood for 12 years until it was tragically painted over by a billboard company in 1986.
For years, Twitchell looked for alternate place to bring the "Freeway Lady" back to life. It was supposed to be painted on the side of the Valley Institute of Visual Art (VIVA) gallery. Unfortunately, plans fell through and the "Freeway Lady" began looking for a new home again.
In 2010, the LAVC Public Art Committee was looking for its first project to be commissioned on the college campus. The repainting of the "Freeway Lady" mural is the first public art project approved by the LAVC Public Art Committee.
Twitchell is bringing the "Freeway Lady" back to life again. A new front afghan was created by members of the Crochet Guild of Sacramento. The flying afghan streamer was created by Peggy Baxter of Long Beach. In addition, students from Valley College as well as members of the community are being permitted to assist the artist in the painting of a portion of the mural.
The arrival of the "Freeway Lady" at LAVC will be a rebirth of this iconic piece of Los Angeles public art. The mural's new home is on the northwest corner of the Student Services Center, and it can be seen easily traveling southbound along Fulton Avenue. It's proximity to the "Great Wall" mural in the Tujunga Wash, will draw people from around the city and the world to the Los Angeles community of Valley Glen.
In addition, the college is currently filming a documentary on the arrival of the "Freeway Lady" at Valley College. The documentary is planned to be completed in late 2016.
Los Angeles Valley College will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the "Freeway Lady" mural on April 14, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. outside the Student Services Center. Download a copy of the invitation.
Immediately following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, there will be a special preview of the Freeway Lady documentary, which is currently still in production, in the Student Services Center, Multipurpose Room (SSC 245).
For more information about the ribbon cutting event, contact Jennifer Borucki in the LAVC Public Relations Office at (818) 947-2433.