By Mary Lynch
The restoration of the mural on Marmion Way near the Southwest Museum is in an early stage, in which the wall itself is prepared for fresh painting. But the preparation work has become a creative adventure in its own right, revealing that much of the original mural, buried beneath 16 layers of whitewash, can be uncovered intact.
The original mural, painted by Daniel Cervantes in 2004, depicted indigenous people and culture. Over the years, it was damaged and obliterated by weather, neglect, graffiti and successive coats of whitewash. Before the wall prep work got underway, no one involved in the restoration project anticipated that it could be saved, said Pola Lopez, the artist selected to restore the mural.
It will take careful work, done by hand, to uncover the original mural. The Autry Museum of the American West, which owns the Southwest Museum, has brought in Will Herrón and Leah Moscozo restoration experts and muralists, to help with the painstaking wall prep.
Lopez told the Boulevard Sentinel that the project will now be the “true restoration” that artists and community members have wanted all along – rather than a re-creation of a lost work of art.
The prep work on the wall is expected to be done in July.