Sunday, October 9, 2016

Guardian Mural with Beautify Earth- Santa Monica Stop Motion Video/ Shaunt Berberian

The Guardian Mural- Santa Monica Red Cross 

with Beautify Earth

Stop Motion by Shaunt Berberian

The Guardian Mural- Francisco Letelier

Looking for art free of politics? Don’t look here.

Like a Third World country- Washington DC


1971 Washington DC

I am in the Mercedes sitting in the backseat, a khaki backpack, my father brought me from Algeria is on my lap along with a sweater knitted from natural wool by my grandmother in  Chile. My fathers driver, Luis Sepulveda is at the wheel. Luis keeps the car clean and polished.
Luis is from the Chilean Army, a bodyguard appointed to keep my father and family safe. On some afternoons when he is not driving my parents, he picks us up after school in the new Mercedes, its always impeccably shiny
Luis appears to be clumsy or slow, but he has a gun under his jacket in a well worn leather holster. We find him servile in his ass kissing of “Don Orlando,” my father, but he’s gotten to be a familiar part of our lives, and he’s a good driver.
Traffic stops, and I hear shouting in the street. Our driver comes out of a slouch and turns down the radio. A bearded guy with long hair is picking up a metal trashcan and throwing it into the street. Luis watches him, one hand on the wheel, the other reaching reassuringly into his holster as he smoothly turns into our driveway.

Luis ushers us inside through the side door, I change and go out the front a short while later. I walk past fine buildings and residences, many have watchful guards standing outside. I arrive at my favorite record store and instead of the usual crowd, it's peculiarly empty.  I look down the street towards the Plaza, and it seems jammed with people. I hear music and think there must be a concert. I walk quickly, I know the streets and businesses along the way. I am kind of jogging now, excited to see what is going on. I think I smell incense.
My eyes and throat are irritated, there is something in the air. I hear someone talking over a loudspeaker and criss cross streets so I can walk up to the circle from the North. There are no cars on the street as I turn into the last block.

The fountain is covered by a pink curtain of fog that turns grey and brown at its edges. Soldiers are standing around the perimeter of the circle, wearing gas masks and cradling M-16s . I am astonished, not afraid, as I watch a parachutist come down on the lawn as a fog of gas engulfs me. I feel like my nose is bleeding and I run in the other direction, along the Massachusets Avenue sidewalk, eyes watering. I wipe my face on my sleeve, the mansions on the street are closed up now, I hear sirens.
I remember how Sister Mansueta makes us pray for the healing of the injured when sirens sound along the River Road Highway near the school I attend. I think of saying a prayer for myself, my head hurts and I feel disoriented and lost. The boulevard bends before it comes to the rotunda, the dirty fog is carried towards the river and I can breathe again. Just three blocks away from Dupont Circle, cars appear, early rush hour traffic. I make it up to Sheridan Circle stumble in along the service entrance to the Chilean Embassy and climb stairs to the third floor. When I get to the bathroom I throw up.

Curled up in a ball on my bed, I watch a huge black and white TV, but there is nothing on the news. From the window perched above the street I hear police sirens, helicopters and explosions.
Muffled, as if thunder were brewing in the distance, distinctly, I hear a crowd chanting but the sound is lost in the darkening humid afternoon. I wander down the hall, listening, straining to know more, smelling the air, mild currents of nausea riding through me. My brother Juan Pablo is at his window looking towards the street. 
Lean back in man, they might shoot you.” I stage whisper towards him.

He smiles and brushes the hair out of his eyes, and calls me over,
“Dude! Take a look at this!” 
From the window we watch 150 riot-equipped police blocking the street in a three-deep line.

Later, I learn that 30,000 protesters are camping near the Potomac river, gathered for May Day. They think they can stop the military, but they have awoken a dragon Every traffic circle, park and monument of the city is surrounded by troops, brought in from outlying bases. In the stadium where my father takes us to watch my second favorite soccer team, the Washington Whips ( the Chilean team Colo-Colo is my favorite) and where I saw Pele play for the first time, they erect a chain link fence.
A famous Parachute Infantry Regiment has been deployed by helicopter throughout the city. By evening the forces of order arrest over 7,000. By the end of the May Day weekend the number doubles to almost 14,000. The city is occupied.

When we returned to Washington DC people often asked me what it was like to have witnessed the coup in Chile.  It was as if those scenes of violence, political confrontation and imprisonment were not woven into the the heart of the United States as well, a country in the grip of the Cold War, post Vietnam. The land of political exile is sometimes a known one. My exile only continued  when I came home, to America.

The largest mass arrest in U.S. history occurred during the 
1971 May Day demonstrations against the Vietnam War

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bachelet encabezará en Washington ceremonia por 40 años de asesinato de Letelier


Bachelet encabezará en Washington ceremonia por 40 años de asesinato de Letelier

La presidenta de Chile, Michelle Bachelet, encabezará en Washington el 22 y 23 de septiembre las ceremonias por el 40º aniversario del atentado con bomba que mató al excanciller chileno Orlando Letelier en la capital estadounidense.

ART IS PUBLIC The Making of a Mural - Fresno Art Museum

Ghost Town wows Venice

Todas Las Manos afternoon of Inspired Conversation September 11, 2016

“Todas las Manos” at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.
The political is personal in all of these shows, but especially in “Todas las Manos” (“All Hands”), a series of five mural-style paintings on canvas. These depict Orlando Letelier, Ronni Karpen Moffitt and Rodrigo Rojas, all killed by agents of the former Chilean government. The artist, who worked on the project with children from the District’s Latin American Youth Center, is Francisco Letelier, Orlando Letelier’s son.
To Washingtonians, these are not distant events. Moffitt and the senior Letelier were killed by a car bomb detonated at Sheridan Circle 40 years ago. Rojas, who died in Chile 30 years ago after being set on fire, grew up in the District, where he was friends with the younger Letelier. Yet the painter recalls these crimes without anger. The mural prominently features a bloom known in Chile as “the flower of reconciliation.”

Thursday, May 5, 2016


Experience the first ever Venice Art Week, May 15-May 22, 2016,
through three independent events:
The Venice ARTBLOCK Open Studios Sunday May 15, 11-6PM
 The Venice Art Crawl Thursday May 19, 6-10PM &
The Venice Art Walk Sunday May 22, 12-6PM

     The sixth Venice ARTBLOCK Open Studios takes place on Sunday May 15 from 11-6. Offered free to the public, the highly anticipated event showcases the art and artists that make up the soul of Venice, providing a fascinating glimpse into established studios and emerging artist’s spaces. Centered in the Oakwood neighborhood and Abbott Kinney Boulevard, ARTBLOCK calls attention to the vitality and importance of the arts in Venice and the diverse art district that is undergoing rapid change.

     In their sixth event with an estimated 70 venues and many more artists, ARTBLOCK 2016 emphasizes new forms of access to the arts and invites the public of all ages to join in public arts activities and workshops along its route.

    Endorsed by a wide range of cultural and civic organizations, ARTBLOCK is a grantee of the Arts Activation Fund, created by Mayor Eric Garcetti to support creative community-benefit projects in Los Angeles.
Pick up a map at: 1003 Gallery and Lounge -1003 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Weir/Quiton Studio - 360 Sunset Ave.- (4th and Sunset Ave.) Letelier Studio – 567 ¾ Brooks Ave and adjoining alley- 6th Avenue at Indiana Court 
David Tanych/ Meryl Lebowitz Studio - corner of 5th Avenue and Westminster Blvd.
The Distillery/ Artist Studios- 361 Vernon Ave. (Sunset Court)
Social and Public Art Resource Center /SPARC - 685 Venice Blvd.   
Venice, California 90291
Look for the Yellow flags, grab a map and explore. Shuttle buses and pedicabs will be available. For info and to download a route map:
     The Venice Art Crawl takes place Thursday May 19 from 6-10PM and it's FREE.
The VAC promotes businesses and studios opening up their spaces to share art diversity in various neighborhoods including ten homes on the one block street Park Place between Main Street and Pacific Avenue, as well as new participants on Lincoln Boulevard near Venice Boulevard. "BEAUTY is the EYE of the BEHOLDER" will be on display by international photographers Bobbi Bennett, featuring traditional color prints. This exhibit is housed at the Bobbi Bennett Studio, 1145 Harrison Ave one block north of Washington Boulevard.  There will be a unique student show of various mediums at Venice Arts, 1702 Lincoln Boulevard, a nonprofit arts organization committed to providing high-impact arts education for low-income youth,  The Venice Art Crawl spreads as far north as Rose Avenue and as far south as Washington Boulevard, and has a western border of Pacific Ave and an eastern border of Lincoln Boulevard. The information booths will be at Venice Arts 1702 Lincoln Boulevard, Love Shack 2121 Lincoln Boulevard and Danny's Venice 23 Windward Avenue. Hop on the Venice Art Crawl shuttle, the Rasta Bus that will transport people up and down Lincoln Boulevard throughout the celebratory evening. For more information and to download the VAC map with all the participants and pop up galleries go to www.

     Venice Family Clinic’s Venice Art Walk & Auctions is happening Sunday May 22, Google Los Angeles, 340 Main Street. Tickets for the Art & Architecture Tours, Angel events and Artist Studio Tour can be purchased online or at 310-664-7916. With the support of artists, volunteers and 6,000+ attendees, Venice Art Walk & Auctions showcases emerging and established LA artists and raises over $750,000 to fund health care for the 24,000 low-income, uninsured and homeless patients of Venice Family Clinic. Experience exceptional art and make a meaningful impact in your community at this not-to-be-missed annual event. Hosted at Google Los Angeles, Venice Family Clinic’s Art Walk & Auctions is free and open to the public and showcases a gallery-quality contemporary silent art auction. Don’t miss the accompanying artist studio tours, artisan shops, family activities, entertainment, music, food and more. For further details

     Come celebrate art, artists, community and the spirit of Venice, May 15-May 22. 

Venice Clown Rekindled


A 10' x 10' cloth mural, stretched on plumbing pipe, featuring the Venice Ballerina Clown with tattoos on his arms representing homeless victims of violence this summer in Venice, homeless people at the top background, people taking selfies near a sign that says "STOP calling it Silicon Beach," drawings by evicted Venice artist William Attaway in the lower right corner and an artist working on a chalk mandala, which was also happening at the Abbot Kinney Festival yesterday. — with Francisco Letelier at On Broadway between Electric Ave. and Main St.

ARTBLOCK Open Studios- Sunday May 15, 2016 11-6pm

 Francisco Letelier                                                                        
 Ara Bevaqua


Venice ARTBLOCK Open Studios
 May 15th, 20016
A journey into the heart of Venice

The highly anticipated Venice ARTBLOCK Open Studios 2016 will be held on Sunday May 15th from 11-6pm.

The event is offered free to the public, providing a fascinating glimpse into established studios and emerging artist’s spaces tucked away throughout the neighborhood giving visitors imaginative opportunities to join in public art activities and other creative events. Centered in the Oakwood neighborhood and Abbott Kinney Boulevard and spreading to other locations, ARTBLOCK calls attention to the vitality and importance of the arts in Venice and the diverse art district that is undergoing rapid change.

In their sixth event with an estimated 70 venues and many more artists, Venice ARTBLOCK Open Studios 2016 ARTBLOCK is included in the first cohort of grantees for the Arts Activation Fund, created by Mayor Eric Garcetti, to support creative community-benefit projects in Los Angeles.

The ARTBLOCK map, listing studios and activities, invites the public to share a sense of place and community as they guide themselves along the route on the streets and alleys of Venice.  Winding through murals, street art, live art and chalk mandalas, there is something for art lovers of all ages, including critically acclaimed exhibitions and the work of noted contemporary artists.

A wide range of cultural and civic organizations endorses the group, including Venice Community Housing Corporation, The Venice Arts Council, The Office of City Councilman Mike Bonin, The Venice Neighborhood Council, The Social and Public Art Resource Center, The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles and The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. The public is encouraged to walk or ride the route on bikes; however, shuttle buses are available for transport to all locations on the route. 
Pick up a map along the route, or at:

     1003 Gallery and Lounge -1003 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Weir/Quiton Studio - 360 Sunset Ave.-
     Letelier  Studio - 6th Avenue at Indiana Court 
     David Tanych/ Meryl Lebowitz Studio - corner of 5th Avenue and Westminster Blvd.
     The Distillery/ Artist Studios- 361 Vernon Ave.
     Wndow Space -  361Vernon Ave
     Social and Public Art Resource Center /SPARC - 685 Venice Blvd. 
     Rohitash Rao Studio 1637 Electric Ave.   Venice, California 90291  

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Photo Kelly Layne 2016

Guardian Mural Rekindled.

After waiting more than 2 months we finally get word that the Red Cross has signed our contract. Having lots of fun at this great site. All the folks that work on the Avis lot are kind, helpful and supportive even though they have to move cars and watch out for the guy overhead. We are all bilingual and the mural really seems to create bridges of understanding between all of us including customers, pedestrians and the guys that live in the alley.
It has been a remarkable experience; working in the hot sun on a South facing wall, hearing the traffic and occasional beep from friends and passerby.  Lost in a field of orange, I sway in the afternoon deftly controlling a mechanical beast that makes it possible for me to reach new heights.
Thanks to Beautify Earth, Heather Rabun, The Santa Monica Red Cross and all the individuals that made the project possible through their support of out Indiegogo campaign.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Guardian Mural Project with Beautify Earth for the Santa Monica Red Cross

A mural for the Santa Monica Red Cross
Francisco Letelier with Beautify Earth
For more than three decades I have been making murals and public art that express the dreams and histories of communities and individuals.
Beautify Earth is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that offers love to neglected communities through the installation of public murals. They are working in communities across the United States, putting an end to blighted walls and fixtures by empowering artists, encouraging social responsibility, and instilling community pride in impoverished or neglected communities and streets.
I am working with Beautify Earth to create a mural for the Santa Monica Red Cross. We share the conviction that acts of imagination can lead to profound change. As part of the greater efforts of Beautify Earth, the mural will add to the momentum already started on Broadway Avenue, creating a cluster of murals situated near each other for a gallery effect.
The Santa Monica Red Cross is one of the oldest civic organizations in the city, founded in 1918 by the historic Santa Monica Bay Women's Club. A largely volunteer organization, the efforts of the Santa Monica Red Cross chapter have left a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands across generations. The chapter serves more than 90,000 people over 16 square miles. Nonetheless, many remain uninformed about the work they accomplish. Despite the organization's enduring commitment to its surrounding communities many overlook its heroic dimensions and take for granted the importance of its tasks. For every crisis, every fire, every earthquake within its district, the Red Cross shows up for those who are in need.
I am asking my extended community to help create a place of imagination and memory through a public art work. I invite you to join me in giving a sense of place and belonging to an organization that has responded to human need for close to a century.Through its staff and volunteers the Santa Monica Red Cross consistently acknowledges the power of cooperation and helps reveal the inherent strength of our communities.Together, lets create a public monument that celebrates that spirit for their upcoming centennial.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Already Home installation and public art project Venice, CA

-->Already Home  Francisco Letelier

         I began this installation amid the sounds of my neighborhood. Shopping carts and the conversations of passersby mix with the shuffle of those who sleep down the alley, the steps of mothers and children and the reverberation of car engines.
         I have lived in this neighborhood for many years and carry myriad details about the people who live here.  Towards evening when I take a stroll, I look east through the alley hoping for a glimpse of the soccer players who turn it into a field. I wonder how long it will be before they must move elsewhere. In the garage next-door a famous domino game was conducted for decades. Seven days a week Willie and his friends played on, sometimes around the clock. Old timers and those who grew up around here know this stretch of alley as a vibrant cultural landmark. Sometimes I still hear a phantom slap as a domino hits the table.         
         Over the years many shootings have occurred where the alley meets 6 th Avenue. In front of the Viva Dogtown Mural, there is a new sidewalk. The roots of the coral tree that stood there for a lifetime once created a tumbled and treacherous walkway, a place where sellers and buyers could meet in shadows. 6 th and Brooks was a place where crack flagged you down and addicts walked searching the ground for a lost fragment of just one small hit please. Those of us who still live here have witnessed our community change in significant ways, but we have not yet forgotten the sound of ghetto birds and semi-automatic gunfire.
         Through the last decades most of us were somehow making home, building a shelter the size of our dreams. Throughout the good and the bad we were raising children, holding on, growing gardens and hope. The police often arrived in the neighborhood and treated most of us, if not all, as suspects: few escaped being interrogated, questioned, harassed or arrested. It was hard then, but the truth is that perhaps it has not become any easier.
         Gangs of one kind have been replaced by other innovations. A different kind of violence, one that leaves people living on the streets and criminalizes poverty has arrived in a more powerful and virulent way. It’s helpful to remember that this was the ‘hood that no one wanted, where the weird and rebellious were commonplace. Here you could still make things work on a shoestring and keep it simple. Now other people want these alleys, these properties. 
         It’s become difficult to keep a foothold and, if that happens, most cannot afford the rent. Those who can pay erect mansions and replace the space where communities built memory and myth. Cardboard encampments grow, new restaurants and businesses arrive, while the diverse artists and cultures that once wove the essence of Venice are displaced.
         Few see the parrots that fly through the high trees, or recognize the kestrels and red-tailed hawks that perch in high branches, eluding the groups of crows that mercilessly harangue them. Fewer recognize that these streets are full of hummingbirds, their calls and the whir of wings is never far away. Fortunately, some things persist. On Sunday morning in the house of the Lord on the corner of Brooks and 5th Avenue people still sing Gospel even if they have to drive from the valley to do it. Regardless of the changes the fruit and vegetable truck still rolls by, the tamale seller makes her rounds.
All of us seek shelter, a home. I join a multitude of others in believing that everyone has the right to food and housing, regardless of circumstance. I also believe we can gently help those around us to open their eyes and hearts to all who share our community. May common sense prevail, may no one remain invisible or neglected.

This installation gathers thoughts about shelter, home and community and become a catalyst for conversations that imagine a future for everyone. If it moves you, please make an artistic contribution and be part of Already Home, a portable public and collective installation. 

Participants at Venice Artwalk May 17 2015