Welcome to Long Beach
Muralist John Valadez was commissioned to create an 18′ x 60′ mural on a west-facing wall of the gallery421 mixed-use project. Entitled Welcome to Long Beach, the mural depicts a scene from historic photographs of the 1957 Miss Universe pageant that was held along the Long Beach waterfront, beckoning to visitors as they enter the City. A 19′ tall beauty queen waves and smiles while a crowd adores her. The upper portion of the mural includes a flock of pelicans that are painted on aluminum and pushed out from the wall approximately 6” to 18” from the mural surface. They are flying across the entire 18′ width in front of a scene from Rainbow Pier—the first pier people used in the early 1920s for fishing and strolling. Although the pier no longer exists, Valadez recreated it from historical photos, including bathers and spectators in 1920s-era costumes. A large painted metal cutout at the top, inspired by the historic “Spruce Goose” airplane, is set away from the mural surface.
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