On Pacoima's Van Nuys Boulevard, muralists have converted walls previously whitewashed to remove graffiti into massive canvases showcasing elaborate works of art.
Now, to help preserve these urban treasures along a stretch affectionately dubbed Mural Mile, the Museum of the San Fernando Valley's Public Art Initiative is offering a walking tour of 15 of these colorful community vistas from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
“Most murals that are on Van Nuys Boulevard are created by the muralists themselves — we went ahead and helped them not only to spread their stories behind each mural but also to raise funds, so when there's damage to these murals, they have the funds available for restoration and conservation,” said Maryley Carrillo, a member of the Public Art Initiative Committee.
Some of the murals have props, such as signs, that become damaged by high winds, and once in a while, they are tainted by taggers, she said. The vast majority of the funds raised will go toward preservation of the murals, as well as arts education, officials said.
Saturday's tour will be led by Manny Velazquez, who has been painting murals in the San Fernando Valley since the 1970s; Kristy Sandoval, a muralist and educator working to bring arts to the community's youth; and Leo Tejeda, who has worked with prominent San Fernando Valley painter Levi Ponce on several murals.
The tour's cost is $15 for those who RSVP and pay in advance, $20 at the time.
Those wishing to participate should meet at the corner of Pala Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard a bit before 10 a.m. Saturday. They will take a short Metro bus ride from there to Arleta Avenue and then walk 1.5 miles back up to Pala Avenue. Bus tokens will be provided.
Participants are urged to bring comfortable shoes and bring umbrellas, caps, sunscreen and water bottles. Parking can be found at Tresierras Supermarket, 13158 Van Nuys Blvd.
To register or see upcoming walks, go to www.themuseumsfv.org/events/tours.