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. The artwork expands 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 history in the community. Ella Drollinger build 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 Business 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.