The Arts Club, London, and West Hollywood Elementary School today unveiled a large-scale mural envisioned by British pop artist Sir Peter Blake on the San Vicente Boulevard retaining wall at the school. Arts Club London Executive Director Alice Chadwyck-Healey also announced that the club, which is opening a West Hollywood location, would make available $1 million in grants to support the arts in West Hollywood over a 10-year period. Among those attending the unveiling was Gwyneth Patrow, the actress, who is a member of the Arts Club, London, and a backer of the West Hollywood project.
The Blake-designed mural is a collage of more than 80 works submitted by first through fifth grade students following an invitation to illustrate themes such as diversity, creativity and innovation, and then interpreted by Blake. It was painted on-site by local artist Debi Cable, known for her hand-painted fluorescent murals and immersive, architectural environments. Students who participated in the program will be joined by parents, community leaders, and local artists for the unveiling of the public artwork they helped inspire.
The mural is part of the Arts Club’s ongoing community engagement and outreach program. The Arts Club, which provides a meeting place for people interested in arts, literature, and sciences, plans to open its first U.S. location in West Hollywood in 2020 at 8920 Sunset Blvd. at Hilldale. The new building, which will replace the building that now houses the Hustler store, will feature a multipurpose gallery space for art events, educational programs and exhibitions that will be free and open to the public. The club itself will be open only to members.
The Arts Club was founded in 1863. It served as an important hub for the creative arts in the 19th century for the likes of Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope, two of its founding members, as well as luminaries such as Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin, James McNeill Whistler and more. Today, the club resides in Mayfair, London, and its permanent art collection as well as rotating exhibition program remains an active part of its identity.
As part of its growing mission, the Arts Club has sought to cultivate partnerships with local organizations in and around its future outpost. Leading these efforts has been t Chadwyck-Healey. “I was fortunate enough to meet Principal Pannell of the West Hollywood School on one of my early visits to the West Hollywood neighborhood and was immediately struck by his obvious passion for, and support of, the arts,” said Chadwyck-Healey. “We look forward to working closely with the school on a
long-term basis. Philanthropy, education, and engagement with the arts are critical components of the Arts Club’s DNA, and we are excited to kick off our long-term support of the arts in West Hollywood with this project. As our honorary president and a long-time member of the club in London, Sir Peter Blake was the perfect artist to collaborate with on this initiative.”
Blake, 85, is a one of the best-known British artists of his generation and a contemporary of such artists as David Hockney and Richard Hamilton. He was a prominent figure in the pop art movement in the early 1960s and 70s, and is widely recognized for the iconic album sleeve he created for The Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” in 1967.
“I am pleased to have worked on this very special project for the West Hollywood Elementary School,“ Blake said. “Seeing the creativity of all the children involved was such a joy, and I hope the resulting artwork, which I developed using their original ideas and creations, will brighten up their school days and serve as a reminder of their vast imaginations.”
The pages below offer illustrations from some of the West Hollywood Elementary School students who participated in the project.