SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica began work on Tuesday, February 9 to paint over a mural in Joslyn Park by Art Mortimer as part of repairs to the park retaining wall.
According to a press release by the city of Santa Monica, Ocean Park Historical Postcards was originally painted back in 1980. The plaque was a dedication to the community work and memory of Ocean Park resident Valerie Nordstrom Barnard. It is being removed from the stair wall and installed at a new location in the park.
The condition of the mural has been steadily decreasing, which has prompted the Santa Monica Arts Commission to deaccession Mr. Mortimer’s mural. The artist was contacted that the mural would be painted over when improvements were completed to the wall.
It was repainted by the artist in 1994 and in 2002; the mural was re-evaluated by painting conservators who noticed substantial structural damage to concrete walls that impacts the condition of the mural, more important in the sections that are sub-grade retaining walls that are no sufficient for a mural.
In 2015, Santa Monica worked with a conservation firm to complete the first comprehensive survey of the City’s collection since 2001. The survey delivered a snapshot of the collection to highlight its age and condition, and its diversity in terms of the types of work, and its distribution throughout the region.
The Arts Commission and its Public Art Committee are using the information obtained to develop a holistic plan for the conservation of the collection, which in most cases is over 30 years old. In the next few weeks, the city of Santa Monica will work with the Nordstrom family to determine a new location within Joslyn Park for the bronze plaque in honor of Valerie Nordstrom Barnard.