The Arts Council for Long Beach launches the Drake Chavez Mural Project, an initiative that will install two public art murals along the western walls of the park. This project is in partnership with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine and the office of Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez (1st District) and We are the Next.
“Murals have become a part of the fabric of our diverse city and a testament to Long Beach’s commitment to supporting local artists,” said Councilwoman Gonzalez. “As one of the newest parks in the city, the Drake Chavez Greenbelt is a great example of partnership with our arts community to enhance public spaces,” she added.
Mural proposals by local Long Beach artists were presented at the “Winter in Wilmore” event in December 2017 where residents voted for their favorite designs. The two selected artists are David Gilmore and Steve Martinez.
David Gilmore’s paint on everything approach to art making spans from walls to canvas to custom cut wooden shapes to surfboards to handbags to bodies. He’s created artwork for clients such as Mariah Carey, Zappos, The McGarryBowen Ad Agency, The Discovery Science, MAC Cosmetics, Selena Gomez, Andy Cohen, Beyoncé, Showtime, and many more. Gilmore stated, “I am extremely thrilled and grateful to have been selected to create a mural in Drake Chavez Greenbelt Park in Long Beach and add to the collection of public artwork which celebrates our beautiful city.”
Steve Martinez is a fine artist, muralist, photographer, and graphic designer. His contemporary work deals with the discourse between the symbolic and the realistic within daily urban life. The thread of Mayan symbols and hieroglyphs—both representative of Martinez’s history and culture—is inescapable in his work, always connecting the present to the past by uplifting, preserving, and honoring a significant layer of meaning and identity. Steve Martinez stated, “The biggest reward when working in a public setting is seeing how my work connects with the community and how it impacts people perception of art and this new contemporary art movement I’m a part of.”
Executive director Griselda Suarez stated, “The murals demonstrate and signal an enthusiasm and commitment to making neighborhoods more joyful while fostering safe public spaces. The project encourages civic pride and supports our mission to foster creativity and culture, enliven our communities and enable a thriving creative economy.”
Join us for an Open Conversations event at Drake Chavez Greenbelt Park (823-999 De Forest Ave.) on Monday, July 23 at 6 p.m. At the event, the public can meet the artists, volunteer to help the muralists and contribute to Arts Council’s Eye on Design mosaic mural.