Historic AIDS Mural Saved from Destruction


“Love is For Everyone” by Mary-Linn Hughes and Reginald Zachary (1991)

Twenty four years following its creation, one of the first public murals to address Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is scheduled to be restored, revived, and renewed! “Love is for Everyone” by artists Mary-Linn Hughes and Reggie Zachary, was originally commissioned in 1991 as part of SPARC’s dynamic Neighborhood Pride Program. During 1988-2002, Neighborhood Pride employed over 95 different established and emerging muralists from Los Angeles and around the country, trained hundreds of youth apprentices, collaborated with countless community organizations, and The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), all to produce images that speak to the multi-ethnic communities that make up our city. In recent years, the mural has remained on display as the public face of the Minority AIDS Project (MAP) building in mid-city Los Angeles with growing signs of vandalism and neglect. Today marks its revitalization after a decade long hiatus! With the generous support of the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs, SPARC has organized funding for the murals on-going restoration and future maintenance so that it may rightfully continue to reflect the lived experiences and stories of the people who regularly frequent the space.

“Love is for Everyone” was thoughtfully developed through the collaborative efforts of both artists, the community and SPARC. Together with Zachary, Hughes endeavoured into her first mural project, bringing forth experience and passion for AIDS related content through various artistic mediums. Their efforts aim towards a novel opportunity to increase awareness of the AIDS community. After a decisive period, the duo settled on the MAP building as an appropriate site for the murals execution. The Minority AIDS Project is the first of its kind, a community based AIDS organization dedicated to serving the ethnic communities of Los Angeles through intervention programs and medical assistance. The artists diligently attempted to echo this commitment through their careful observation of MAP’s daily procedures, services and client experiences. Their findings inform the murals overall design, which depicts food bank and shelter motifs against a geometric technicolor quilt to relay overall comfort. Highlighted in the mural is a diverse palette of embracing faces and silhouettes inspired by MAP’s various patrons, which portray the global impact of AIDS amongst all community types. In its completion, “Love is for Everyone” goes beyond its function as decorative piece and serves as a memorial in recognizing those in the community who have been affected by the virus. The project successfully brought together artists and community members and produced a template for the training of young artist apprentices. The contemporary restoration efforts aspire to reproduce these meaningful engagements and bring the integrity of the work back into the public eye.

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