The LA City Council comes one step closer to lifting a 10 year ban on murals painted on privately owned businesses. The measure still needs a final council approval and it would restrict murals on single-family homes. Council members are looking for ways to allow communities the choice of having murals on their homes if they want to. Council members expressed that there was a time when LA was considered the "mural capital" of the world. City Councilman Jose Huizar said, "The city of Los Angeles was known as a place where we supported the arts, where we had free expression on our walls." Huizar represents Eastside communities that support mural art.
Communities in the San Fernando Valley also support it. 26-year old Levi Ponce has been painting murals in the City of Pacoima. A section of Van Nuys Boulevard is known as The Mural Mile. Ponce has 16 murals ranging from the "Lady of the Valley", a young Latina surrounded by roses to The Mona Lisa with a Sombrero known as "The Pacoima Art Revolution". You'll also find Frida Kahlo, actor Danny Trejo and many others. Ponce says he is thrilled the city council is moving toward lifting the mural ban. "I think it's great they're getting to the point where they can differentiate between commercial art and art for art sake. They got bundled together after the city got a little tired of seeing too much graffiti and too many ads." Ponce says his murals are simply a reflection of his neighborhood. No one paid him for his work. Ponce says through laughter, "This is all out of heart, out of pocket. I open my heart and my wallet."