About 30 years had passed since artist Jose Luis Gonzalez helped create a ceramic mural for the City Terrace Library when he got a call last year asking him to repair the very same artwork. It had been many years since Gonzalez had seen Ofrenda Maya I, which he and then partner Robert Areniva had created in 1978 to greet patrons to the new library on City Terrace Drive. The approximately 9-foot by 12-foot artwork depicts three Mayan warriors and consists of 432 glazed tiles. It was one of the first ceramic murals that Gonzalez and Arenvia has created as part of the Goez Art Studio, which was responsible for many prominent East Los Angeles murals and served as a trsaid Gonzalez. “We made many trips to test and match the colors.”
After many months of work, Gonzalez completed the $8,000 project at the end of April. The restoration brought back many memories for the 69-year-old artist, a pioneer in the Chicano mural movement. The murals were not only intended to beautify the community but to educate and generate pride in the history and culture of the Latino residents. “It brought me some flashbacks when we started Goez Studio on First Street,” Gonzalez said.
Now, after repairing Ofrenda Maya 1, Gonzalez said he hopes the staff can keep a closer eye on the mural to protect it from harm and to inform the kids to be more careful with those skateboards.
“They should take care of it,” he said. “After all, it was done for their sake.”
Top photo from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission web site; bottom photos by The Eastsider