The 1932 General Hospital Mural is an historic art piece that is suffering extremely poor conditions. In an effort to conserve this priceless artwork for future generations, the Board of Supervisors passed a motion, authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, to restore and repair the Hugo Ballin Medical Sciences Fresco at the historic General Hospital at the LAC+USC Medical Center.
“This one-of-a-kind piece of civic art is a vital part of the history of the hospital,” said Supervisor Solis. “I am proud to help restore this iconic mural, and I am thrilled to give one lucky youth artist a unique chance to learn about art history and restoration and gain valuable work experience.”
Today’s motion approves $200,670 in Prop A funding to restore the only Ballin Mural that was completed al fresco, which suggests the painting was done on fresh plaster. In addition, the project includes a Youth Employment Plan that will recruit and hire a youth to work with the conservation firm. The youth worker will be recruited from one of the nearby agencies, such as the East LA Women’s Center or Boyle Heights – Building Healthy Communities. They will work once a week and perform a variety of tasks including research on Hugo Ballin and his artwork materials, assist conservators with written, graphic, and photographic documentation, and assist with daily tasks like set-up and breakdown. The youth will work for up to 120 hours over the course of four months.
The Youth Employment Plan aligns with the Arts Commission’s Board directed Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative (CEII) recommendation #4 to develop teen arts pathways and create access to work-based learning opportunities. Supervisor Solis authored CEII, which reflects arts diversity throughout the County’s arts programming and creates equal opportunities for everyone.
Some of Hugo Ballin’s most famous murals still stand at landmark locations including the Griffith Observatory, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, LA County General Hospital, and Burbank City Hall. The historic Medical Sciences Fresco is in poor condition due to water damage and the technique by which it was painted.
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