Return to the Light, 1993
By Charles Freeman
Carlota Park Apartments
227 East Avenue 41
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Freeman is a self-taught artist. He moved to Los Angeles in 1974 while active in the Black Panther Party as an organizer. For the past 13 years he has operated his own sign-painting business in Walnut, California, near his Pomona home.
ABOUT THE MURAL
The mural depicts to prevalent social ills: the senseless killing of young people and homelessness. The shaman in the center represents a healthy state of wholeness. Cesar Chavez represents vision being focused. The elderly are symbols of rich experience and wisdom. The spirits of Pancho Villa and Zapata are there to signify strength and courage. The mural’s title refers to the role of the spiritual in finding solutions.
This mural has suffered from delamination.
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Charles “Boko” Freeman and Noni Olabisi restoring “Return to the Light”
The conservation of Charles “Boko” Freeman’s mural, “Return to the Light” is now complete! SPARC’s CityWide Mural Team along with Boko spent several weeks meticulously repairing the mural from vandalism and delamination. Our conservation technicians removed a significant amount of graffiti, most likely vandalized with a pressurized fire extinguisher. Despite appearing faded, once the binder was consolidated with MuralShield, a majority of the portraits became immediately vibrant. Now that the conservation is complete, this Highland Park gem will remain vibrant for many more decades. The mural can now be viewed off of the 110 freeway towards Pasadena.