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Shepard Fairey, Saber to Discuss L.A. City Mural Ordinance at Public Panel Discussion

An unprecedented meeting of street artists and political artists will happen tonight in downtown L.A. Expected to attend: Shepard Fairey and Saber.

Los Angeles, of course, is a graffiti art hot spot and a onetime mural capital of the world. But a city law against public murals made putting one up illegal. Not good if you're trying to impress the rest of the planet, for example, during last year's groundbreaking Art in the Streets exhibition at MOCA.

And so City Councilman Jose Huizar is trying to bring back the legality of the mural:

Tonight he'll host the last of the public meetings on his proposed ordinance. It will take place at a gallery in downtown's Arts District.

The general idea behind Huizar's proposal is to allow such street art, where property owners want it, without clashing with the city's regulations on commercial advertising -- e.g., billboards and supergraphics.

Saber's skywriting response to L.A.'s mural ban last year
Saber's skywriting response to L.A.'s mural ban last year

So Fairey, Saber, Huizar, Councilwoman Jan Perry and Estela Lopez of the Central City East Association have signed on to appear at the event and panel discussion.

Here's how Huizar's office describes the deal:

The panel will discuss the draft language for the proposed mural ordinance, which will allow artists to legally create murals on private property with the consent of property owners. Since 2002, under the City's "Sign Mural" ordinance, mural signs on private property have been banned while the City works on a new sign ordinance, which has been wrapped in litigation. The new mural ordinance will be separate from the sign law by identifying murals as something other than signs, with a focus on murals as "original works of art."

All the magic happens at 7 p.m. at LALA Gallery, 1335 Willow St. (enter on Santa Fe Avenue):


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