Councilman Proposes to House Homeless In Trailers on City-Owned Parking Lot

January 17, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Large encampments of homeless people living under ragged tents and tarps, surrounded by cardboard boxes, shopping carts overflowing with treasures that to others resemble trash, fill the streets overlooking the Hollywood 101 Freeway, in the shadow of Los Angeles City Hall.

It’s not a situation unique to the area, these encampments exist in cities and neighborhoods all across Los Angeles County.

And it’s a problem growing faster than city and county have been able to handle.

On Tuesday, a Los Angeles councilman proposed that the city house about five dozen homeless people in trailers on a downtown parking lot next to a state historical monument and major cultural tourist center.

The proposal, outlined in a motion introduced by Councilman Jose Huizar, calls for installing five trailers on a city-owned parking lot at Arcadia and Alameda streets next to the 101 Hollywood Freeway. The plan is to house people who sleep on the sidewalks in the area around the historic El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, home to Olvera Street, the America Tropical Interpretive Center, the Chinese, Italian and Social Justice Museums, and some of the city’s oldest structures, all located steps from one of the city’s busiest transportation hubs, Union Station.

In addition to being an important historical landmark, El Pueblo is a major tourist attraction, drawing upwards of two million visitors a year.

Huizar’s motion says the shelters could be installed and operated for six months at a cost of $2 million. The councilman said the annual cost after that would be about $1.4 million to operate the site, and that more temporary shelters of a similar nature are in the works for other areas of the city.

“This is the first of its kind. We’re not necessarily calling it a pilot, because we’re hoping to work on others at the same time,” Huizar told City News Service.

The proposal comes from a task force formed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to brainstorm how to get thousands of unsheltered people off the streets. If approved by the City Council, the initiative to provide temporary shelter would mark a new strategy for the city, which has focused primarily on encouraging the construction of permanent housing

Homeless encampments near El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument have caused safety concerns among visitors. (EGP Archive photo by Mike Alvarez)

through $1.2 billion in voter-approved bonds under Measure H, which was passed in 2016.

Garcetti has said he hopes temporary housing can be placed on other city properties throughout Los Angeles to help serve the estimated 25,000 unsheltered homeless people in the city.

El Pueblo’s General Manager, Chris Espinosa, is a member of the mayor’s task force. He told EGP Tuesday that homelessness is an ongoing problem at the historical monument, which also happens to be the city’s birthplace.

El Pueblo’s staff and commission are sympathetic to the problem of homelessness and are very interested in working with the city on initiatives to improve their plight, Espinosa said, adding, however, that the large number of homeless encampments on Main Street, Arcadia, and Spring Street have raised security concerns at the state monument.

The parking lot where the trailers would be located is run by El Pueblo. Revenue generated from parking fees help cover the monument’s operating expenses, which have been on the rise as security and other costs related to the homeless population grows.

The monument includes Father Serra Park, a grassy area located off Los Angeles Street, between the monument’s main plaza and museums and Union Station. Every day, large numbers of homeless men and women, “some with mental illness and drug issues … some who are just poor,” use the park as a place to camp out, Espinosa told EGP.

Espinosa noted that the situation has been “concerning” for visitors, especially “foreign tourists and children.”

“We really freaked out when we started hearing about the spread of hepatitis in the homeless population,” Espinosa said. “We started doing twice weekly cleanings, sanitizing the area,” he said, adding that although the practice helps stop the spread of the disease it does nothing to move the homeless into housing.

Trailers to house the homeless living near Olvera Street would be located on Parking Lot 5, on Arcadia and Alameda, according to a motion introduced by Councilman Jose Huizar. (EGP photo be Fred Zermeno)

On the security front, merchants and visitors have complained about the aggressive behavior of some of the homeless.

At El Pueblo Commission meetings, merchants complain that their employees and customers report being harassed and worse. They report drug activity in the public bathrooms, and the difficulty of keeping those areas clean for visitors.

“About a year ago, I had to hire an additional security guard for each shift, three shifts, and we had to put up specialty fencing and buy more security cameras” to help deal with the problem, Espinosa said of the added cost to the operating budget.

“Six months ago, LAPD added a dedicated foot patrol here, and that has been excellent addition,” he said.

According to Espinosa, the El Pueblo Commission has not yet voted to support or oppose Huizar’s motion, but he noted that some of the commissioners have been involved in discussions of the plan.

Huizar’s motion opens the public discussion about how the program will work, not just at El Pueblo, but other locations throughout the city, he said. The mayor was personally involved, engaged, and the goal is to look at city-owned sites with high concentrations of homeless, Espinosa said, noting that inclusion of wrap-around services for those temporarily housed at the site will be an added benefit.

“Taking people off the streets and putting them in housing changes the dynamic, and improves the chances that they will benefit from the services offered,” Espinosa said.

Councilman Huizar, who has been at the forefront of many of the city’s initiatives to address the homeless problem, agrees that permanent supportive housing is critical.

“Permanent supportive housing is a model that works,” because the individuals “don’t get lost.” In the meantime, we need “more immediate things” as the long-term solutions are developed, Huizar said.

The El Pueblo site would consist of three trailers for beds, one trailer to house administrative workers and case management services, and one hygiene trailer with restrooms, showers and laundry facilities. Huizar said the hope is that the people who stay there could be transitioned into permanent housing within six months.

Huizar also said the passage of Measure H, and the countywide Measure HHH that aims to raise $355 million per year for homeless services through a sales tax increase, was an indication that L.A. voters want their leaders to take aggressive action on homelessness.

“If there was a poll put on this, I think the support would be overwhelming,” Huizar said. “The public has been asking for our government officials to treat homelessness as the crisis that it is, and that’s why Measure H passed, that’s why Measure HHH passed. And what I hear, as well, which is reality, is that we’ve got to do something more immediate.”

Some recent city efforts to combat homelessness have been met with opposition, including a proposal to put up storage units in Venice for homeless people to use that was met with a lawsuit in 2016 by a group of local homeowners. Huizar said similar opposition to the El Pueblo plan is likely.

“We anticipate that there will be some NIMBY (not in my backyard) pushback,” Huizar said. “We don’t know in what form it will come, but we’re hoping that the neighborhood will realize that the homeless individuals in their neighborhoods are their neighbors, their friends, could be family members … “

Homelessness in the city of Los Angeles jumped by 20 percent in 2017 while the county saw a spike of 23 percent, according to the results of the 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count. In the city, the total number of homeless went up to 34,189 and the county number increased to 57,794.

Where to Celebrate Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos

October 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

From local parks and recreation centers, to cemeteries, art galleries and farmers’ markets -the week ahead will be packed with family-friendly, culturally enlightening and yummy events for Halloween trick-or-treaters and Dia de los Muertos celebrants .


Friday, Oct. 27

7pm–Free Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Novenario & Festival Continues at Olvera St. in downtown LA. Event features processions in traditional day of the dead dress, blessings, music, face painting, colorful public altars, dance & great food. Presented by the Olvera Street Merchants Assoc, & El Pueblo de Los Angeles. Day time & evening events. For more information & a schedule, visit www.olveraevents.com.

dia de Los Muertos procession at Olvera Street. (EGP archive photo)

dia de Los Muertos procession at Olvera Street. (EGP archive photo)

Saturday, October 28th & Sunday, October 29th

10am-7pm–“Fiesta Muertos Weekend Festival” Presented by the Olvera Street Merchants Assoc. Foundation & El Pueblo Historical Monument. Event features live cultural entertainment, theater, community altars & face painting throughout the day

Saturday, October 28

10am-1pm–Open House to Review Boyle Heights Community Plan Update-Meeting will showcase the draft plan update and proposed zoning. Location: Boyle Heights City Hall-1st Fl. Meeting Rm, 2130 E, 1st St., LA 90033. For more info, visit www.bhplan.org.

Noon-4pm–Mourning Tours at Heritage Square Museum in Northeast L.A. Repeats Oct.29. Learn all about death& etiquette during the Victorian era, the movement of Spiritualism &how other cultures remember their loved ones. Tickets are $20 for adults/$15 seniors over 65/$8 children 8-13. For more info, visit www.heritagemuseum.org.

4-8pm–Celebrate Halloween with viewing of “Alice in Wonderland” at the Downey Youth and Recreation Center in Lincoln Heights: 1772 N. Spring St, LA 90031. Mummy cookie eating & costume contests. Movie starts at 6pm. For more info, call (323) 225-7100.

6-11pm– Calavera LGBTQ Community Celebration in Boyle Heights. “Día de Los Muertos” Remembrance of Victims of Homophobia and Transphobia brings together allies and LGBTQ community members. Event includes free “Calavera” face-painting, crafts by local artisans, a DJ and dance floor along with typical foods and drinks. Location: Mi Centro, 553 S. Clarence St., in Boyle Heights. For individual or group tickets see the events page at www.LatinoEqualityAlliance.org, email info@latinoequalityalliance.org or call (323) 286-7224.

Saturday, October 28th & Sunday, October 29th

10am-7pm–“Fiesta Muertos Weekend Festival” Presented by the Olvera Street Merchants Assoc. Foundation & El Pueblo Historical Monument. Event features live cultural entertainment, theater, community altars & face painting throughout the day. or more information & a schedule, visit www.olveraevents.com.

12pm-12am –Ford Invites You to Share Your Love of the City at the Dia de Los Muertos event at Forever Hollywood Cemetery. The popular Dia de los Muertos event is one of the largest, most vibrant and colorful Day of the Dead events in Southern California. Take a look at the new Ford vehicles, enjoy Day of the Dead activities, altars, music, food & much more. Time: 12pm to 12am. Forever Hollywood Cemetery is located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., LA 90038.

7-9pm–Self Help Graphics & Art Noche de Ofrenda at Grant Park In Downtown L.A. Self Help concludes month-long Dia de Los Muertos community programming with a beautiful community altar night featuring altars by over 30 plus organizations, partners, and artists, led by premier altar-maker Ofelia Esparza. Special performances throughout the evening. For more info, visit https://www.selfhelpgraphics.com/

Sunday, Oct. 29

12-3pm–Boyle Heights Harvest Festival at Pecan Park: 145 Pecan St., LA 90033. Free face painting, pony rides, resource booths& pumpkin giveaway. Call (23) 262-2736.

Monday, Oct. 30

3:30-5:30pm–Zombie Run-Run for your Mummy at Veterans Park in Bell Gardens. A Game Room favorite is back with twists, turns, and more zombies! Join the fun. Ages: 5-14. Free Admission. Game Room is located at 6662 Loveland St. Bell Gardens 90201. For more info, visit http://www.bgrecreation.org/ .

Tuesday, Oct. 31 –Halloween

3-8pm–Haunted Harvest Festival at the Old L.A. Farmers Market in Highland Park. Costume parade at 5pm. More family-friendly activities. Location: N. Figueroa and Avenue 58. For more info, call (323) 449-4100.

4-8pm–Halloween Party 2017 at Ramona Hall in Highland Park. Free Spooky Theater, food, costume parade and arts & crafts. Ramona Hall is located at 4580 N. Figueroa St., LA 90065. For more info, call (323) 276-3021.

6pm–Halloween & Costume Contest at all City of Commerce parks. No charge to take part. Events feature contests for best Decorated Pumpkin & Best Pet Costume. Lots of fun games. For more info, call (323) 887-4434.

6-8pm–Boyle Heights Scary Hall. Trick –or-treat with the family at Boyle Heights City Hall: 2130 E. First St., LA 90033.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Your Car Checked, Take A Self-Defense Class, Start Celebrating Dia de los Muertos-Find Out Where On EGPNews’ Community Calendar

October 19, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Friday, Oct. 20

First of Two Free Women’s Self-Defense Workshops Oct. 20 (Koreatown) & Oct. 21 (Downtown L.A.) sponsored by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago. Learn how to protect yourself; discuss legislation on women’s issues. Locations: Koreatown-Olympic Community Police Station 1130 S. Vermont Ave. LA 90006); DTLA-Ketchum-Downtown YMCA 401 S. Hope St. LA 90071. For more info, call (213) 620-4646.

Saturday. Oct. 21

9am-1pm–Free Visual Car & Car Seat Inspection at the Highland Park Senior Center. Visual inspection includes lights, wipers, belts, hoses, vehicle battery & much more. Make sure your child’s car seat is safely installed. Senior Center located at 6152 N. Figueroa St. Highland Park, 90042. For more info, call (323) 255-7913.

3-9pm–Dia de Los Muertos Event at the East Los Angeles Civic Center, hosted by Sup. Hilda Solis, LA County Parks & Rec and Casa Cultural Saybrook. Enjoy live entertainment, altars, and artists. Center is located at 4801 E. 3rd St., LA 90022. Free admission. For more info, call (323) 260-2360 or visit http://parks.lacounty.gov.

3-10pm–Dia de los Muertos Festival in El Sereno on Huntington Drive. Enjoy traditional procession, Taste of El Sereno, Altartwalk, artisanal vendors, children’s games & more. Free admission. For more info, email Angie@elserenocommunityarts.com.

Sunday, Oct. 22

12-2:30pm–Lost Cemeteries of Los Angeles, Walking Tour with the Barrio Boychik. Meet at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes – in front of “La Tienda” Bookshop: 501 N. Main St., LA 90012. For tickets & more info, visit Tickets by Eventbrite.

11am-2pm–Pet Care Fair sponsored by SEAACA & Bell Gardens Police Department at Veterans Park: 6662 Loveland St. Free Admission. Event includes a low-cost vaccination clinic, pet licenses and/or microchipping, pets for adoption, pet costume contest & parade. Prizes throughout the day. Free hot dogs for every person who gets their dog or cat vaccinated, chipped or licensed at the fair. For more info, contact Bell Gardens Police Det. Benson at (562) 806-7618; for information on animal adoptions, visit the SEAACA website at www.seaaca.org.

Monday, Oct. 23

10:30-11:30am–Attend the Dedication of the Ruby Cedillo Breast Care and Imaging Center at the Arroyo Vista Family Health Center in Highland Park. Dedication is in conjunction with the observance of Breast Cancer Aware Month. Refreshments will be served. Arroyo Vista is located at 6000 N. Figueroa St, LA 90042. For more info or to RSVP, call Irene Holguin at (323) 987-2007 or email iholguin@arroyovista.org.

Tuesday, Oct. 24

6-8pm–First of Two Open Houses to Review Boyle Heights Community Plan Update-Repeats Sat., Oct. 28. Open Houses will showcase the draft plan update and proposed zoning. Locations: Oct. 24 (6-8pm) at Roosevelt High School Cafeteria, 456 S. Mathews St. LA 90033; Oct. 28 at Boyle Heights City Hall (10am-1pm) 1st Fl. Meeting Rm, 2130 E, 1st St., LA 90033. For more info, visit www.bhplan.org .

Wednesday, Oct. 25

6pm–Opening Night-Free Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Novenario & Festival at Olvera Street in downtown LA. Nine consecutive nights of pageantry, featuring processions in traditional day of the dead dress, blessings, music, face painting, colorful public altars, dance & great food. Presented by the Olvera Street Merchants Assoc, & El Pueblo de Los Angeles. Day time & evening events. For more information & a schedule, visit www.olveraevents.com.

Upcoming

Ford Invites You to Share Your Love of the City Oct. 28 at the Dia de Los Muertos event at Forever Hollywood Cemetery. See new Ford vehicles, enjoy Day of the Dead activities, altars, music, food & much more. Time: 12pm to 12am. Forever Hollywood Cemetery is located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., LA 90038.

Cinco de Mayo Weekend at El Pueblo/Olvera Street. Kicks off Friday

May 3, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

May 5
From 12Noon to 6pm– with free live musical & dance performances. Continues Saturday, May 6th & Sunday, May 7th with Cinco de Mayo Festival. Free cultural entertainment, food, & family activities. Time: Saturday 12pm-7pm & Sunday 9am–4pm. Olvera Street is located in Downtown LA- Across from Union Station. Take Metro trains or buses to Union Station & just cross the street.

Roybal: Man of the People – the Struggle Goes On

January 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Immigration, health care, civil rights, voting rights, jobs and war, all hot button issues today and the focus of a new exhibition exploring the legacy of Edward R. Roybal, a former Los Angeles councilman and congressman who first started working on these same issues in the 1940’s.

Presented by the Lucille and Edward R. Roybal Foundation and El Pueblo de Los Angeles, “Roybal: Man of the People,” opened Jan. 6 and runs through Jan. 30 at El Tranquilo Gallery on Olvera Street. An opening reception with the artists will take place on Saturday, Jan. 14 from 5p.m. to 9 p.m., and admission is free.

“The exhibition is a tribute to Congressman Roybal’s legacy, but from the unique perspective of what’s happening today,” the show’s co-curator Jimmy O’Balles told EGP. An outstanding mix of artists are taking part in the mixed-media show and according to O’Balles, their works interpret the civil rights issues Roybal dedicated his life to in contemporary themes rooted in decades of struggle.

“With everything going on with [President-elect] Trump, we can see that the struggles are the same,” he told EGP.

20170110_152053

Art by Joe Bravo

“Roybal: Man of the People” includes works by more than two dozen artists, including many well-known and respected artists such as John Valadez, Margaret Garcia, Joe Bravo, David Botello, Ignacio Gomez, Wayne Healy, Leo Limon, Oscar Castillo, Jose Antonio Aguirre and J. Michael Walker to name a few.

Many of the works have a definite reference to Los Angeles politics, including images reflecting and highlighting Roybal’s time on the city council and years as a member of Congress representing East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights and other predominately Mexican American communities on the eastside.

O’Balles says it’s important for the community to know that there is deep history in the movement and about the people, like Roybal, who dedicated their lives to many of the same issues still confronting us today.

Roybal was “the nation’s champion for public health and social justice … [and] the first Mexican-American politician from East Los Angeles to attain national recognition,” writes Elsa S. Greno in her essay “Edward R. Roybal’s Legacy for Latinos in the United States” that is being circulated as part of the outreach campaign to promote the exhibition.

He graduated from Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights in 1934, studied business at UCLA and law at Southwestern University and served in the Army during World War II.

He was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 1949, becoming the first Latino to serve on the council in the 20th Century. He held the position for 13 years: another Latino would not serve on the council until 1985. He would help create the Community Service Organization (CSO) and the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), two groups that registered more than 145,000 Latinos to vote and worked diligently to give them a voice on issues at home and in the nation’s capitol.

Roybal was elected to the Congress in 1962, making history again by becoming the first Latino in the 20th Century to represent California in Washington D.C. He would go on to serve 30 years in congress, becoming a nationally known advocate on bilingual education and bilingual court proceedings, defunding the war in Viet Nam, healthcare for veterans, including Mexican Americans in the Voting Rights Act, outlawing age discrimination, challenging the unfair and unequal treatment of Latinos in immigration and naturalization laws, funding for programs to help elderly and poor Hispanics, changes to the 1980 Census to b more responsive to Latinos and the introduction of National Hispanic Heritage Week, among many other issues of importance.

At a press conference Wednesday, President-elect Trump restated his commitment to building a wall to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and stop people from entering the U.S. illegally. A piece in the Roybal exhibit by Jose Antonio Aguirre titled “No Comments: Siempre LoMismo,” stands as a strong statement in response to what many call the hardline and militarized enforcement of the border: a family running with guns pointed at the target on their backs.

It is just one of the many pieces that ties the past to the present and begs the question: “Why are we still fighting these same issues?”

O’Balles told EGP that many of the pieces are for sale but prospective buyers will have to wait until after the show to make the purchase because El Pueblo does not allow items to be sold at the city-operate venue. However, purchases can be made through the nonprofit Roybal Foundation, which will receive 40 percent of the proceeds to support its local programs.

El Tranquilo Gallery is located at 634 N. Main St. in downtown Los Angeles. (Entrance located at W-19A on Olvera Street). The exhibition is open daily during regular gallery hours. For more information, visit El Pueblo’s Facebook page.

Comienzan Las Posadas Navideñas en la Placita Olvera

December 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Las posadas de navidad es uno de los más antiguos eventos celebrados por miles de católicos en conmemoración al viaje de María y José de Nazaret hacia Belén y su búsqueda por un lugar en donde pudiera nacer el niño Jesús.

En Los Ángeles uno de los principales lugares de celebración es la Placita Olvera donde a partir del 16 de diciembre y por nueve noches consecutivas los asistentes participarán en una procesión pidiendo posada.

Cada noche aproximadamente a las 7pm, los líderes de la marcha, por lo general niños, estarán vestidos como pastores, ángeles y María y José seguidos por decenas de fieles.

La procesión se extenderá por la calle Olvera terminando con la repartición de pan y champurrado y piñatas para los niños.

(EGP archivo)

(EGP archivo)

Para más información visite: http://www.olvera-street.com/Calendar/Las-Posadas/las-posadas.html

Opening Reception: Corazon de Los Angeles Annual Dia de Los Muertos Art Exhibit

October 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Saturday. Oct. 24

IMG_6066

6pm—Opening Reception Corazon de Los Angeles (Olvera Street) Annual Dia de Los Muertos Art Exhibit featuring more than a dozen artists, including George Yepes, Maria Kane, Michael Stubbs, Dave Sanchez, Oscar Castillo, and many others. Come early for festival & dinner. Corazon LA is located at W-19A on Olvera Street, Second Level: 624 N. Main St. LA 90012. For more info, call (213) 617-0227 or visit on Facebook.

 

Opening Reception Corazon de Los Angeles (Olvera Street) Annual Dia de Los Muertos Art Exhibit

October 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Saturday. Oct. 24

6pm—Opening Reception Corazon de Los Angeles (Olvera Street) Annual Dia de Los Muertos Art Exhibit featuring more than a dozen artists, including George Yepes, Maria Kane, Michael Stubbs, Dave Sanchez, Oscar Castillo, and many others. Come early for festival & dinner. Corazon LA is located at W-19A on Olvera Street, Second Level: 624 N. Main St. LA 90012. For more info, call (213) 617-0227 or visit on Facebook.

 

Opening Reception Corazon de Los Angeles Anniversary Show Featuring Chicano Master Artist George Yepes

June 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

 

(Painting by George Yepes)

“Adelita” by George Yepes

Master artist to the stars, George Yepes will unveil his latest work at Corazon de Los Angeles, historic Olvera Street’s newest gallery on Saturday, June 27, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

The aptly named gallery is located in the heart of Los Angeles, at El Pueblo Historical Monument in Downtown Los Angeles, the city of L.A.’s birthplace. Corazon de Los Angeles is celebrating it’s third anniversary with new works by the world renown Chicano artist who grew up in East Los Angeles and was a significant contributor to Los Angeles’ most iconic murals and the growth of Chicano art to popularity and acclaim beyond Los Angeles.

Yepes’ paintings are in the personal art collections of Hollywood’s most cutting edge actors and filmmakers including Sean Penn, Madonna, Patricia Arquette, Nicolas Cage, Cheech Marin, Anthony Keidis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez.

“George’s work grabs you by the lapels and makes you feel as if you’re discovering art for the first time. He’s a master painter in the best sense, the art comes through him not from him. That is rare,” Director Robert Rodriguez said.

Joining Yepes in the exhibit – which runs through July 19 – are several former students of his art academy, the Academia de Arte Yepes at Academia de Artes Yepes : Juan Solis, Maria Kane, Gene Ortega, Saul Aguilera, Ricardo Estrada and Ulie Garcia, Ben Morales – all now accomplished artists in their own right.

"Redux" by Gene Ortega

“Redux” by Gene Ortega

Meet the artists and enjoy some light refreshments, music. Free admission. Corazon LA is located at W-19A (2nd level above La Golondrina Restaurant)) on the historical Olvera Street marketplace. (634 N. Main St.) L.A.

For more information, email info@corazonla.com, call (213) 617-0227 or visit on facebook: Corazon de Los Angeles’s Corazon de Los Angeles’ Facebook page.

Maria Kane

Maria Kane

Master Chicano Artist George Yepes to Unveil New Work at Olvera Street

June 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s a perfect match. George Yepes will unveil his latest work at Corazon de Los Angeles, historic Olvera Street’s newest gallery on Saturday, June 27, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Uniquely, this fine and folk art gallery and cultural marketplace, exhibits the work of well known veteran artists alongside emerging artists who reflect the beauty and depth of Latino history, life and culture.

In that spirit, for this show, Yepes will be part of a group exhibit with talented onetime students who completed his art academy, and are now accomplished artists in their own right: Juan Solis, Maria Kane, Gene Ortega, Saul Aguilera, Ricardo Estrada and Ulie Garcia,

Yepes is using every minute of his time to paint new work leading up to this show while coordinating the work of some of his former students. He is planning a surprise unveil that may include a new “celebrity” portrait.

(Painting by George Yepes)

(‘Adelita’  by George Yepes)

“We are very pleased that an artist as acclaimed as George Yepes will be showing his very latest work at Corazon de Los Angeles,” said co-owner Gloria Alvarez.

“The philosophy of our gallery, to showcase a blend of artists, is in complete agreement with his work to teach and inspire new artists,” said Alvarez, whose partners include husband Mike and cousins Pat Soto Lee, Debbie Soto Seanez, Manuel and Steve Soto-all longtime L.A. area businesspersons.

Corazon de Los Angeles has received high praise for being a welcoming place where people can be introduced to a range of authentic Latino art, whether they are longtime collectors or making their first art acquisition for a home.

“All of the artwork in our gallery tells a story, we provide an environment that is casual enough to allow our customers to imagine what the work will look like in their home. We offer a variety of items for art lovers on every economic scale,” Alvarez said.

“We can help our customers locate a fine art painting by a famous Master artist if we don’t currently have it in our gallery, or help them select a Mexican tapestry, pottery, jewelry imported from Peru, Mexico or by a local artisan. It’s all carefully selected and we pride ourselves in offering a kaleidoscope; a window into our wondrous diverse culture,” she said.

This attractive new venue, now celebrating its third anniversary, is providing a supportive space for artists to make their artwork available for purchase.

Yepes’ latest work is expected to be yet another milestone exhibit for the evolution of Chicano art with a new generation of artists who have been well schooled on technique and like Yepes, can say much with a paint brush.

“What I like about exhibiting at Corazon de Los Angeles is that the gallery, true to its name, is located in the heart of Los Angeles. Olvera Street, the oldest street in Los Angeles, the birthplace of the city of Angels, and the center of a giant in the art world where East L.A. begins,” said Yepes.

“It’s Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano history is deep. It attracts people from all over the city, and tourists from all over the world. So I liked the idea of bringing my art to new audiences, and exposing people to Chicano art.”

Yepes, originally from East Los Angeles has exhibited his work throughout the United States and internationally, but he is passionate about this venue which “brings him home.”

“The word is getting out that Chicano painters in Los Angeles should be exhibiting at Corazon de Los Angeles Gallery at Olvera Street … The heart of Los Angeles is a world art center, like New York, London, and Paris.” Yepes said.

“People from all over the world come to Olvera Street. Art Collectors from New York and other parts of the country visit Corazon de Los Angeles to buy my paintings.”

“Also, art collectors from Phoenix and San Francisco now fly in to L.A. to buy artworks at the gallery. After my exhibit last year my paintings were shipped to collectors in Mexico, London, and New York.”

In a career now spanning forty years, Yepes’ work has taken him from East L.A. to Princeton, NASA, Dubai, and Hollywood’s Silver Screens.

His paintings are in forty museum collections. He has always been an ambassador for Chicano art, from his early days as one of the original East Los Streetscapers to being sought after for the powerful images seen in feature films.

His paintings are in the personal art collections of Hollywood’s most cutting edge actors and filmmakers including Sean Penn, Madonna, Patricia Arquette, Nicolas Cage, Cheech Marin, Anthony Keidis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodriguez.

“The first time I stood in front of a Chicano painting – it was George Yepes’ Amor Matizado – I had the same feeling as when I first heard a tune by the Beatles,” Marin said.

Painting by Gene Ortega

“Redux” by Gene Ortega

Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp, Antonio Banderas, Eva Longoria, Carla Gugino, Marley Shelton and Patricia Arquette have modeled for several Yepes paintings. Since the year 2000, Yepes has collaborated with Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino on numerous projects including Once Upon a Time in Mexico 2003; the double feature Grind House 2007; Machete 2010; and the 2014 Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller movie, Sin City 2  “A Dame to Kill For”.

“George Yepes is the rarest of talents,” said Director Robert Rodriguez. “I own several of his paintings, and whenever someone walks in and sees them for the first time, I have to stand close so I can catch their jaws before they slam into the ground. George’s work grabs you by the lapels and makes you feel as if you’re discovering art for the first time. He’s a master painter in the best sense, the art comes through him not from him. That is rare,” Rodriguez said.

Central to all of Yepes’ work continues to be what he calls, “the prevailing winds of the Chicano movement that sweeps inland from the coast of California, through the American Southwest, across Chicago, and New York.”

(Painting by Sal Aguilera)

(Painting by Sal Aguilera)

“All are welcome to experience that ‘wind’ with Yepes and his former students at our exhibit at Corazon de Los Angeles,” said Alvarez.

The exhibit runs through July and is free and open to the public.

For more information on George Yepes upcoming exhibit go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Corazon-de-Los-Angeles-at-Olvera-Street/. For The Academia de Arte Yepes and mural projects contact George Yepes at www.georgeyepes.com or the Academia de Arte Yepes at: http://www.georgeyepes.com/academia-de-arte-yepes/

Corazon LA is located at the historic Olvera Street Marketplace –W19A (upstairs)/634 N. Main St. Los Angeles, CA 90012.

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