OC REGISTER: Irvine ponders program to encourage mural arts on buildings along freeways

By Tomoya Shimura

IRVINE – Plan to attend Tuesday’s City Council meeting if you think this master planned community is too beige or needs some sprucing up.

The Irvine City Council tonight will discuss Councilman Jeff Lalloway’s proposal to establish a voluntary mural arts program to make it easier for companies along major freeways to paint artwork on their buildings.

Lalloway said he proposed the idea after reading positive feedback about the existing mural on the freeway-facing wall of the Tilly’s building along I-405 near the 133 interchange.

“I think the mural is great for the city,” Lalloway said in a phone interview Monday. “I think it brings certain color, certain flare, certain character.”

Lalloway proposes that the city establish standards and streamline the process for companies that want to paint murals on their building walls facing I-405 or I-5. He said he wants such projects to bypass cumbersome, and sometimes political, Planning Commission hearings – a step currently required by the city code.

The Tilly’s mural, created by artist Zio Ziegler last summer, is slated to be painted over at the end of June, when the agreement with the city expires. There has been no discussion of an extension, city spokeswoman Kim Mohr said.

The Planning Commission originally approved the mural for 90 days but later extended the period by nine months.

Ziegler, a Rhode Island School of Design graduate, specializes in large, improvisational murals. His Irvine piece was sponsored by Tilly’s, Vans and Laguna Beach-based Artists Republic Gallery to bring attention to the Orange County art scene.

Continue reading on the Orange County Register website…

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