Venice Beach Poetry Monument Restoration Project
SPARC was contracted by the Venice Arts Council (VAC), as part of their Endangered Art Fund, chaired by Suzanne Thompson to restore the Venice Beach Poets Monument, one of the most notable public art works on the Venice Boardwalk. The monument was created as part of the City of Los Angeles 2000 renovation of the Ocean Front Walk at Venice Beach. Curated by Fred Dewey, Director (1996-2010) of Beyond Baroque Literary / Arts Center, based in Venice, and built by the City under the leadership of Councilmember Ruth Galanter’s Chief of Staff at the time, Mike Bonin (now CD 11 Councilman). The monument features the poetry fragments by historic Venice Beat Poets: Frank T. Rios, Tony Scibella and Charles Bukowski, as well as Jim Morrison of the “Doors”, Exene Cervenka of the punk-rock band “X”, and actor Viggo Mortensen. The words from 18 poets is located on four Venice Beach locations: Windward Plaza – Recreation and Parks/LAPD Substation building, 17th Street, Horizon Avenue and Brooks Avenue public restrooms along the Ocean Front Walk.
SPARC’s Public Art Rescue Program is leading the restoration work, which includes graffiti removal, cleaning of the concrete surfaces, repairs to the lettering, and an application of a protective coating to ensure the longevity of the work. With the support of former Councilman Bill Rosendahl, Phase I of the restoration work on the Recreation and Parks/LAPD Substation building wall and was completed in July 2012 by SPARC. Phase II of the restoration, with support of Councilman Mike Bonin (CD11), included work on the 17th Street/Ocean Front Walk public restroom and was completed in January 2014. Fifth grade students from Grandview Elementary School in Mar Vista created visual poetry ceramic tiles for the 17th Street public restroom location, under the direction of Venice artist/educator Tami Smith. Future restoration work will include Phases III and IV at Horizon and Brooks Avenues.
SPARC’s Public Art Rescue Program is a restoration and graffiti abatement service that works closely with the City of Los Angeles as well as property owners and community members to restore murals and other public art works.
The SPARC Team consisted of: Carlos Rogel, Project Manager and Daniel Gutierrez, Eric Torres and Sam Camarena.
January 2014 Restoration
Summer 2012 Restoration