“Postcards from Ballona”

Postcards From Ballona

On Earth Day, April 22, 2009, a group of artists and volunteers gathered to revamp the “Postcards from Ballona” mural which has graced the Ballona Creek Bike Path access ramp on the west side of Overland Avenue in Culver City since 1997.

Over the years, the mural had become a victim of both vandalism and graffiti; but now it’s bright, glossy and shiny.

Let's Protect our Treasure

The Postcards from Ballona mural was totally restored by both volunteers and its original student artists. The updated painting was completed on Earth Day, at about 8:15pm. Its final touch, a layer of graffiti-proof polyurethane was literally applied today.

According to the volunteer pictured above, the newly overhauled Postcards from Ballona even out do the original.

Ballona Creek

The mural was originally designed and painted by the students at Culver City Middle School–which is located right next to the Ballona Creek bike path. The Postcards from Ballona mural features film strip scenes and photos, depicting scenes of the Ballona Creek past and present; alongside other icons and memories of people and places which hail from Culver City.

Small Hands

Aided with additional financial support from the Splash Water Company, Trader Joe’s, and Albert Vera & Sorrento’s Italian Market, the project took place from Sunday to Thursday. Considering the heat wave (100⁰ temperatures) we had here on Sunday and Monday, I have a great appreciation for the volunteers who endured the heat to celebrate this tribute.

Old and New

I’d like to thank each and every volunteer who took time from their busy schedules to help my ride and everyone else’s ride along the Ballona Creek Bike Path to make it more enjoyable. It looks great.

As Marc over at the Welsh Scribe suggests, “No matter what topic you blog about; writing, spirituality, motivation - use Earth Day as a launch pad for your next post.”

The Mural project was just one of many such Earth Day events that went on in Los Angeles over the course of the last week. What events were going on in your neighborhood?

I can’t wait to share more of my Travelin’ Local bike ride alongside the Ballona Creek Bike Path today, to add to my Californian’s Want Wetlands, series about this ecological miracle inside our busy metropolis.

Oh, and don’t forget, today is the last Friday of the month, which means it’s Car-Free Friday.

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16 comments so far

  1. Paisley (Paisley Thoughts)

    What a gorgeous mural and I mean gorgeous! The colours are so vibrant and intense. Thanks so much for sharing your community project. This is really sharing the love.

    Paisley (Paisley Thoughts)’s last blog post..Keeping Up With the Flashy Blogs

  2. Kevin

    Another fantastic mural in Los Angeles area. All of Southern California is being reborn it seems, thanks for sharing.

    Kevin’s last blog post..Cowichan River Provincial Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

  3. David

    Gorgeous photographs of the mural, Lisa.

    What I particularly like about your article is the fact that these dedicated people created something defining and substantive on Earth Day for their community.

  4. Tracy

    Wow! That’s fantastic. And in 100 degree weather? I can’t even sit up straight in 100F weather, let alone do a mural! Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Tracy’s last blog post..A WHOLE chicken in a CAN

  5. Will Campbell

    Would you believe it’s already been tagged? When I biked by this morning it had been hit by the tiles on the far right and in the center. Bastards.

    The crap should come off what with the protective coating but I’m just so steamed.

  6. Mike Foster

    Southern Cal has some awesome sidewalk art. Living in a college town myself, we are also bless with artsy sites.


    Mike Foster’s last blog post..Can We Beat Obesity?

  7. LisaNewton

    @ Paisley You are so welcome, and the colors are even more vibrant in person.

    @ Kevin It definitely takes time, but things do change, with the help of a lot of people.

    @ David It’s great to see a measurable goal reached over the course of a few days. Oh, I know some projects take much longer, but short ones give a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

    @ Tracy Yes, it was unusually hot this past weekend, although now the weather is much cooler. Today, I had to wear a sweatshirt.

    @ Will Campbell You mean someone already has graffiti on it? OMG, can they just leave it alone for a few days. Extremely disappointing.

    @ Mike Foster I love the mixture of art with culture here. It’s fully embraced by everyone.

  8. Will Campbell

    Happy Update! Biking by it yesterday afternoon, the small tags had been removed! Someone’s keeping a close eye and wasting no time cleaning up after the losers.

    Will Campbell’s last blog post..Angels & Demons

  9. David


    You live the credo:

    “The more community members that are networked for this event the better the chances are to protect the mural from damage and future vandalism.”

  10. Marc - WelshScribe

    What a great example of an Earth Day project. Fantastic work by everyone involved.

    Thanks for sharing it Lisa.

    Do you have any shots depicting the size of the mural?

  11. Will Campbell

    Thanks David. In fact, after seeing it marred that morning I was thinking of stopping at a hardware store and buying some sort of graffiti remover and giving my own clean-up a try. Very pleased someone had already beaten me to it!

    @Mark, on the last day of its restoration I took some pix that I cobbled together into a panorama that might give you an idea of its scale:


    Will Campbell’s last blog post..Angels & Demons

  12. Diane C.

    It’s great to see the community working together on a project like that. The fine details and colors are delightful.

    Diane C.’s last blog post..Gila Monster

  13. LisaNewton

    @ Will I’m happy to see you and someone else is keeping a close eye. I’d hate to see all that hard work go by the wayside so soon, if ever. Why do people feel the need to distroy other people’s hard work?

    @ Marc You’re welcome. Hey, I’m just following your lead………:)

    @ Will Thanks for sharing the full length of the mural. It puts the idea of just how long it is into perpective.

    @ Diane C. The pictures don’t really due the artwork justice. It’s much brighter and vibrant in person…………..:)

  14. Lisa's Chaos

    What a GREAT mural! They revamped it in one day? Amazing! I hate that people would graffiti over it! Hope the poly works to keep it safe!

    Lisa’s Chaos’s last blog post..Macro Monday - Playing with my food

  15. Barb Hartsook

    I love this! Thanks so much for being on top of what’s happening, Lisa. And Will, for guarding it…
    (there will always be those who use their talents to destroy rather than build).

    Barb Hartsook’s last blog post..Do We Really Get What We See?

  16. LisaNewton

    @ Lisa It took 3+ days for the entire project to be finished, plus I’m sure many hours of preplanning. From what the gentleman who was painting on the poly stuff, he said it was the same stuff they use on cars, so it should work….(fingers crossed)

    @ Barb Will is really great, and one of the few bloggers I’ve met in person. And it’s a shame that the ones who distroy don’t put their talents to a better use.

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