By Dennis J. Freeman
INGLEWOOD —Aug. 3 was a special day for the Exceptional Children’s Foundation’s Art Centers (ECF).
Artists with developmental disabilities who make use of the ECF Center got to take part in the unveiling of a larger-than-life mural that pays tribute to them.
The mural, created by Inglewood artist Aise Born, took a little over a week to be flushed out on the side of the Social Justice Learning Institute on Centinela Boulevard.
Funded by the Mary Pickford Foundation, the mural’s theme is inclusion and participation. Several Inglewood residents, including those who participate in art programs at the ECF Center, helped created the mural.
But Born brought it to life with his depiction of what was created, using as much as 60 cans or at least 10 gallons of paint, he said.
“The wall is pretty big, so that’s something that’s always good to tackle,” Born said. “I’ve done a couple of walls close to this size or bigger. It takes a lot of gallons.”
Born was still putting the finishing touches on the mural before the official ceremony recognizing the achievement took place in the Social Justice Learning Institute’s parking lot.
“What I’ve done so far has been a seven-day period,” Born said. “It’s challenging because I’m also incorporating other works of art that aren’t mine. Because you’re going off of other people’s artwork, you have to collaborate with them to do their artwork, their representation of their work, and who they are as artists.”
Born, who says he does portrait work in his background as an artist, says the mural is true to form for what it is supposed to represent.
“It’s supposed to say to the public that these people are here,” Born said. “They’re here. They’re creative people just like the rest of us.”
Adriane Mota, program director at ECF, said it’s a huge deal for the artists in the ECF Centers to be part of the project.
“That’s massive,” Mota said. “I think that particularly the size and scale we’re able to showcase their work is really impactful for them, but also for the community to see what they’re capable of. Then having their image included as well, it’s really special to see our artists represented in the community, not just in Inglewood, but as part of an art community.”
Ms. Vicky is on the verge of turning 60. She sits in a wheelchair, her movements limited. That has not stopped her from creating art. She’s been part of ECF for a couple of years.
As an artist, Ms. Vicky is pretty prolific, having some of her creations hung up in a museum gallery in downtown Los Angeles. A photo of Ms. Vicky is displayed on the mural that Born painted.
“I looked at it. It looks good up there,” Ms. Vicky said. “It’s the first time I had purple hair. It shows that I’m one of the artists in the painting.”
Ms. Vicky said she been an artist for 20 years.
“I just love drawing and making things look good,” she said.