Let There Always be Sky

Background information

1988, by Margaret Garcia. 15'h x 12'w.
Margaret Garcia adopted the title of a traditional Russian children's song for her mural celebrating Glasnost--the opening to the west and the movement to peace--initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev during the final years of the Soviet Union. The planet earth hovers over two mountain climbers celebrating the conquest of Mt. Elbrus, a 18,460 foot high mountain in the Caucasus of Russia. Suspended in space is the Apollo/Suz docking, a Russian girl jumping rope and a Russian ballerina. A woman holding a baby stands in the lower right foreground while a man is framed by the Los Angeles City Hall in the background. Three women--an African American, a Russian peasant spinning thread and one holding a sign proclaiming in Russian "Let there always be sky", stand by onion skin domes of a Russian church.

Garcia was one of several artists who submitted proposals for the project. Originally she planned to paint the mural directly on a wall of the Mall, but it was executed on canvas because of concerns that the Mall might be redesigned. Embellishing the Temple Street underpass, Let There Be Sky was painted by teenagers from East Los Angeles with the assistance of Russian and Hungarian youth participating in the US-USSR Youth Exchange in Santa Monica and the Outward Bound School in Colorado. Both organizations sponsored the mural, which was funded by Tom Cruise.

Plans to display the mural in the Soviet Union after its dedication on July 2, 1988, never materialized.

The text has been provided courtesy of Michael Several, Los Angeles, September 1997.

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