The public arts non-profit Do Art Foundation is on a tear lately, curating murals from a diverse group of local and international artists all over Los Angeles. The latest is a new, large-scale public art project entitled,“You are Beautiful” and is currently underway in the Westchester community. The artist is Leimert Park resident Aly Kourouma a.k.a. Aly Timbuctustate, an artist and designer whose work focuses on the interplay of the so-called “primitive world” and its modern urban counterpart. Keep reading for the full press release from Do Art and for images of the mural from photographer Phil Sanchez.
A new mural entitled,“You are Beautiful” is currently underway in the Westchester community, set to celebrate and commemorate the historic LAX-centric neighborhood just north of the airport. The local nonprofit organization Do Art Foundation coordinated this project, adding to its fast-growing repertoire of murals in Los Angeles County. Currently in progress, the selected artist Aly Timbuctustate can be found in the bustling area of Drollinger Properties’ Westchester Village, between South Sepulveda Blvd and Sepulveda Westway. The artwork will expand along the 100-ft wall bordering the parking lot facing inwards to the Plaza, and is slated to be complete by the beginning of September.
Drollinger Properties has a long and storied history in the community. Ella Drollinger built Westchester’s first commercial building in 1947, and her son, Howard, carried on the family’s tradition, earning the moniker “Mr. Westchester,” as he and his wife, Jewel, revitalized and redeveloped Westchester’s Central Busines District. The mural currently underway is being created to thank and honor the Westchester community. The main concept for the installation of this artwork is to inspire each passerby and impart a positive sentiment – “You Are Beautiful” – to visitors of the plaza. The mural will pay respect to some of the people who made Westchester what it is today as well as the artist’s rendering and reflection of the community’s current residents.
“I was drawn to this project because of the property owner Karen Dial’s desire to pay tribute to her family and the people that founded this neighborhood by using the medium of public art,” said artist Aly Timbuctustate. “Karen and Drollinger Properties realize the power of art as a tool to bring the different components of a community together. I think that is truly beautiful and it makes me excited about the project. I’m glad to be able to create something that will celebrate the cultural and ethnic diversity of the neighborhood, while also honoring the history of this growing area.”
Dial said the mural is a perfect representation of the community in which she grew up.
“We are part of the enormous City of Los Angeles, but Westchester is like a little village, an oasis in the sea of L.A.,” she said. “People know their neighbors. They come together to make our community better and they work hard to help each other. This mural is a great way to remind everyone that they are beautiful – inside and out.”
Born in Guinea, raised in Senegal West Africa and currently a Leimert Park resident (Los Angeles), Aly Kourouma a.k.a. Aly Timbuctustate is an artist and a fashion designer whose work focuses on the dialog between the esthetic of the so-called “primitive world” and its modern urban counterpart, and the possible emergence of a more universal truth. Aly believes that what could be seen as ground for confusion can turn into richness and complexity, and ultimately, into a tool for cultural reconciliation through the lens of art.
Do Art Foundation is an arts organization focused on the promotion and creation of work visible in the public landscape. Recognizing the need for artistic productions to create important humanitarian cultural conversations, Do Art Foundation facilitates projects that inspire creative expression within our society. The Foundation is a registered non-profit that answers the need of art access and education for our society. It aims to bring art into the public realm so that all people and communities may create dialogue and participate in our cultural development. Do Art Foundation’s mandate is to engage art as a forum to foster exchange of ideas and culture. They focus on projects and programs that involve unconventional art education and expression.
Photos by Phil Sanchez.