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Richardson Family Park - It Takes A Village - 1
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This mural titled “It Takes A Village…” was painted by artists Asylm, Vyal and Man One and is located inside the Richardson Family Park in Mid City Los Angeles at the corner of 27th Street and Budlong Ave. This mural was developed for the kids that live in the area that use this small park everyday. The title alludes to an old African saying that states, “It takes a village to raise our children.” We left the last part of the phrase open as we found the idea also applies that it takes a village to build a park or to maintain a mural. The words of the title can be seen depicted throughout the imagery of the mural itself. For example, you can see the word “take” spelled out in the Lego® blocks and the word “village” spelled out in the buildings.

Much of the mural imagery painted is based on specific neighborhood features such as the large tree with the aerial roots, the elementary school building, the historic craftsman style homes and the kids themselves.

This park was a privately-owned vacant lot owned by the Richardson Family. After the park was completed, it was donated to the City of Los Angeles, and is now managed by the Department of Recreation and Parks. Working with various neighborhood community groups and nonprofit organizations, the neighborhood designed and built this park in 1997. The existing wall where the mural is painted had been covered with hardcore gang graffiti for over twenty years. ICU Art was brought in because we have a successful history working with a wide range of community stakeholders from the homeowners, city officials, neighborhood groups, non-profit organizations, local kids and the even the gang members and police.

The design and painting of this mural involved an extensive amount of community outreach, which involved many factions of this community in the mural design process. Members of the community contributed design ideas, and critical feedback to the artists as we designed this mural. While we painted the mural, we offered a free mural art workshop in which over twenty of the neighborhood kids participated in designing and painting their own murals on large sheets of recycled billboard vinyl.

The mural was originally painted in 1997 and received a commendation from the Mark Ridley-Thomas’s City Council office. The mural held up well to the area vandalism for many years. Due to an improperly applied clear coat by a City of LA subcontractor, and poor maintenance techniques, the mural did eventually become weathered and scarred by vandalism. In 2005, the North Area Neighborhood Development Council raised funds for the mural to be completely repainted. ICU Art stripped the wall down to concrete and repainted the original mural nearly exactly as it was originally painted. We used more durable European spray paint, applied a special hard clear coat, and finally a sacrificial, anti-vandalism wax coat to protect the mural from all the elements. The mural has been holding up very well.