“Love is for Everyone” by Mary-Linn Hughes and Reginald Zachary was created under SPARC’s Neighborhood Pride Program in 1991. The mural is located on 5149 W. Jefferson Blvd, in Los Angeles. This is the first mural in Los Angeles to incorporate the subject of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The goal of this mural is to portray the diversity of individuals affected by AIDS. The imagery includes both figures and silhouettes embracing, including a mother and child, a young girl, two men hugging and others talking, embracing and holding hands. The composition is balanced; the two men embracing draw our eye to the center of the mural, while the surrounding silhouetted figures offer a strong contrast in representation. Five small reliefs in the middle of the mural depict images of the world, a phone and phone number, a heart, a woman’s face, and two hands reaching to each other. The figures in the mural are on a black and white scale, while others are in silhouettes. The background is colorful and geometric; each colorful shape has a name or phrase on it. This mural was painted on the wall of the Minority AIDS Project in Los Angeles, which has been serving Black and Latino communities since 1985 by supporting AIDS and HIV positive individuals. The primary artist, Mary-Linn Hughes, was funded by the California Arts Council for several years to serve as the artist-in-residence for an AIDS support organization in Orange County. She then asked Reginald Zachary to be the co-leader on this mural.
Assessment before the restoration
Onsite Conservation Report
We began with documenting and setting up our water reclamation system. We tested the correct concentration of solvents to achieve a controlled delamination of the latex-based gray paint by conducting timed interval applications. We documented 5, 10, and 15 minutes intervals utilizing 6 different concentrations of solvent.
Our high concentration Heritage solution at 5 minutes followed by agitation produced the best results. We then modified the solution with a gel to keep the latex paint “wet” during our saturation testing. We administered each test with a low-pressure wash at 100ºC to accelerate the delamination. We concluded that utilizing Heritage solution in gel formed gave us the most control during water-delamination over other solvents.
Our first day of applying the solvent mixture was a success. We achieved almost 75% removal of the grey latex paint, although, I was surprised to find the yellow color beneath to be slightly off from the colors in archival photographs. A closer inspection found that the yellow color was in fact another layer of latex-based paint that had been used to cover up even older vandalism. Beneath that was a urethane coating. The image below shows the back of the paint film with remnants of the urethane coating.
We ran new tests on yellow and dark blue latex paints using new concentrations of solvents to create a controlled delamination.
We utilized combined a mixture of biodegradable surfactant with a diluted concentration of Heritage to remove the urethane coating. We ran tests at 80ºC–90ºC–100ºC at low and high pressure. The optimal methodology was a low pressure water delamination at 85ºC with the surfactant solution applied at intervals of 20 minutes with mild agitation before and during water delamination.
The process was highly successful, with only minimal loss to the most degraded cadmium yellow border above. The tonal difference is dramatic. You can see the striking difference most prominently along the yellow border. This is almost two tonal values of difference.
We ended the day with an objectives list for day three:
1. Complete the removal of grey and yellow foreign paint matter.
2. Administer the controlled water-delamination method on the above portion of the mural
3. Begin the MuralShield consolidation process with a light fog coat.
It took three days of intense conservation. By the afternoon of the third day, all foreign paint matter and degraded urethane coatings were successfully removed. We allowed the mural to cure before applying a fog coat of MuralShield preservation solution.
By July 11th, at 4pm that afternoon, the first phase of the mural conservation was complete. Mary-Linn Hughes and Reginald Zachary were then brought in to administer the in-painting repairs.
The in-painting repairs took two weeks to complete. Mary-Linn Hughes and Reginald Zachary administered the repairs with SPARC technicians. They completed the repairs in a timely manner. All in-painting repairs were meticulously documented. All names honoring individuals affected by HIV or AIDS were restored in the same location. Obscured or deteriorated names were recovered from digitally enhanced archival photographs.
SPARC technicians applied the final coating of MuralShield, installed the finalized didactic materials, and applied our acrylic-modified sacrificial coating for graffiti and vandalism prevention.
Restoration completed and shielded with MuralShield™
SPARC Neighborhood Pride Mural Program (1988-2003) 1991 Mural Production sponsored by the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), and made possible through a contract with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs & through neighborhood support.
The restoration by SPARC’s Mural Rescue Program is funded by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Street view on Google Maps:
685 Venice Blvd,
Venice, CA 90291