Harvard Heights Comes Alive


Mid-City residents and business owners Steve Wallis and his wife Eileen Ehmann are sparking an artistic vibe in Harvard Heights via Start Los Angeles.  

Oct16Mural1With the help of fellow resident Terry Guy, the couple provide community spaces for artists to create art murals and other artistic expressions.  “It’s changing our streetscape for the better,” said Steve Wallis.  Wallis stated that the two newest murals are showcased on 2181 and 2203 Venice Boulevard which now makes a total of 7 murals on Venice between Western and Normandie.  Wallis, Ehmann, and Guy are committed to promoting artistic expression and have demonstrated that mission by creating space devoted to art murals along Venice Boulevard starting
Terry Guy

at the South East corner of Venice and Western.   Guy explained that the space was built to “create a more interesting colorful community around us.” and added that the community has been very supportive of their artistic efforts and thanked them for “cleaning up the neighborhood” and replacing the graffiti tags with art murals.  

Oct16Mural2jpgSteve Wallis

The Start Los Angeles founders hope that visitors to the Harvard Heights area will also enjoy the artwork.  “We hope that people will get out of their cars and take pictures,” Guy explained.  Sharing the same sentiment, Wallis expressed that the vision is for the appreciation of artistic expression to extend throughout Mid-City.   “We want to create some wonderful energy in our own neighborhood that will hopefully expand.”  

The murals featured at 2268 Venice Boulevard showcase the work of various artists.  One of the current pieces of artwork is from Brian Butler, an artist best known for creating art for bands and other recording artists during their live performances.  

Oct16murals4The Start Los Angeles space at 2272 Venice Boulevard is the new home for Monorex, an artist collective and part-time gallery.  Monorex hosted an exhibition on Saturday, September 24, 2016 entitled I, Frankenstein, which featured contemporary art by Stephen Bliss.  For more information regarding this exhibit and future projects go to: startlosangeles.com or StartLosAngeles on Instagram.

According to Wallis, future projects include a coffee house and a Pop up space for art and community events. Guy, a curator for street/mural art, is also collaborating with schools in the downtown Los Angeles area to teach students how to create the mural art form. “We hope to inspire kids and explain art as a career option.”  Guy explained that the collaboration is based on his current project entitled Secret Walls, in which participating artists engage in “art battles” which currently take place in 85 cities and four countries. The collaboration with the schools would also feature “art battles” in which different classes engage in friendly competition. For more information regarding the current project, go to: thesecretwalls.com

Photos by Sandra Sims

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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