MWA Votes to Support Mural Application Process

Mount Washington Association members passed a motion offering interim support to artists Zack Christensen and Rob Sipchen, pending a presentation of mural's final images.

Mount Washington Association members voted Monday night to offer interim support to artists Zack Christensen and Rob Sipchen to create a memorial mural, pending a presentation of the mural's final images.

A motion was made to “support the process moving forward in principle pending appropriate review” and passed 14 to 8, with four abstentions.

Monday's presentation by Christensen and Sipchen is part of their series of community meetings in Mount Washington, which they have conducted with artist partner Antonio Villaraigosa, Jr.

The three young men are trying to gain neighborhood support for a public mural to memorialize their late friend , who committed suicide in January after a long and difficult struggle with schizophrenia.

On Monday evening, Christensen and Sipchen spoke about the project and presented representative samples of their art to members of the Mount Washington Association in the Jack and Denny Smith building at .

Before they began, Jack’s father Keith--with mother, Connie in attendance--made his first public statement about the mural proposed in their son’s memory.

After the Rohmans left, Christensen and Sipchen told the assembled crowd that the large drawings displayed on the stage--including a buffalo and a leonine creature--would be used “in multiples” in the mural to “create a sense of forward motion” but said that the art at the meeting was not the final imagery.

Association President Rob Schraff then opened the floor to comments and questions, and a spirited discussion ensued. Many in the crowd expressing a desire to see renderings that were closer to the finished product. 

Eliot Sekuler disagreed, commenting that if acclaimed Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros had submitted his murals for public approval, they would have “come out looking like Disney renderings.”

Check back later today for Patch's full story on Monday's meeting.

Mt Washington res September 20, 2011 at 03:21 PM
My family and I live less than a block away from where this would live and hope to see this passed! It would be such an amazing compliment to the neighborhood up here.
Mt Washington res September 20, 2011 at 03:23 PM
Btw, Zachary, Rob and Antonio, I run a street marketing company right down the road on Lacy. More than happy to contribute time or materials to help keep costs down... Let us know how we can help! www.attackmarketing.com
Pat September 20, 2011 at 07:14 PM
This project encapsulates the spirit of Mt Washington, a small neighborhood that has often sought to express its sense of community in artistic ways. Having lived in this community for close to 30 years, I realize that no community project has had complete consensus, not the still thriving preschool launched 20 years ago or the recently completed community multi-purpose building at the elementary school or other ventures, but this is a project from the heart and soul of the newest generation of our community. They seek not only to honor a beloved member of our community, but also the essence of the community. At this early stage, the three young men, trained as artists and city planners, are seeking support for the project in principle as they continue to define and develop the project and submit it through all the appropriate city channels. They have my respect and my support.
erxicana September 21, 2011 at 04:39 PM
As someone who has experience working with artist and installing murals on public property, this mural is a personal art installation. The legacy of murals usually present more that just one person. They make a broad community political statement and may be dedicated in memory of the deceased. A mural of Mount Washington would include the many parks, open spaces, black walnut trees, wild animals and birds, the SRF, Coptic Orthodox Church, Southwest Museum, the school and multipurpose center, Nob Hill, Lummis, child care, and the contributions of Jack Smith. As tragic as the death of this young man is, a mural should be more inclusive. There have been many tragic deaths in Mt. Washington who could also be memorialized. If I was advising these artists I would take all these ideas and integrate them into their mural, and really get broad support. That would help create a greater consensus and community ownership. BTW-With all due respect, the comparison of this mural project to Siquieros is ridiculous. He was already an internationally renowned muralist!
Sharifah Rosso September 30, 2011 at 05:54 PM
Thank you, erxicana. I am in total agreement with you.


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