Looks like the man who took a sledgehammer to Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame star earlier this week isn’t the only one trying to make Hollywood Boulevard a better place. A group of artists set to work Wednesday night adding some color to the gray metallic shutters that cover the entrances to most of the street’s businesses after hours.
The artwork is part of a project called BeautifyHollywood, an extension of the Beautify Earth initiative. It’s seeking $20,000 of funding through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Early funding for the project was provided by Heineken. Jay Marose, a public relations specialist who is spearheading the project, tells Curbed that 27 artists have signed on to participate so far and that two murals are fully complete.
"My dream is to transform Hollywood Boulevard back to an inspirational area, telling its rich history through pieces of art," Marose says in his campaign video.
Last night, 30 of us Artists gathered on Hollywood Blvd till the wee hours of the morning and painted what Hollywood means to us on 30 sliding doors. This young Madonna - esque pop starlette lives on the corner of Hollywood and Wilcox for good now. Catch her staring at nightly patrons and take a look into her soul while you're at it...She's got a lot to tell ya. Thank you for having me in on such a dope project @beautifyearth! Always a pleasure leaving my mark on another wall #beautifyearth #beautifyhollywood #popart #retro #hollywood #la #madonna #nairahart #popstar #almostfamous
Should the crowdfunding drive meet its goal, the money would pay for a total of 50 murals, but Marose's goal is that the fundraising initiative will bring in even more money for additional artwork. He says 104 business owners on Hollywood Boulevard have agreed to let artists have at their security shutters.
Not surprisingly, given the street’s history and identity, many of the murals depict such pop culture icons as Jimmie Hendrix, David Bowie, and Charlie Chaplin. As ABC News reports, Reigndrop Lopes, sister of Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes, is among the artists and will paint a mural in memory of the late R&B singer and member of TLC.
Meanwhile, artist Preston Craig, who nearly 20 years ago painted a portrait of silent film star Buster Keaton on a Hollywood Boulevard security shutter, has returned to touch up the realistic illustration.
Marose says the goal of the project is to improve the pedestrian experience on Hollywood Boulevard for tourists and locals alike. The central question around the project is "how to move foot traffic between the businesses that are closed now and the ones that are closed during the day," he says. "And then late night takes on a whole new flavor."
So far, 27 artists have signed up to participate.