Kent Twitchell's iconic mural "The Old Woman of the Freeway" (or "Freeway Lady") is coming to Valley College! Originally painted near the Hollywood Freeway, the mural was lost when it was painted over in 1986. After many years of trying to resurrect this iconic piece of Los Angeles public art, the LAVC Public Art Committee has selected the repainting of Twitchell's "Freeway Lady" to be its first project on the campus. The mural will find its new home on the side of the college's Student Services Center.
by Kent Twitchell
Twitchell's "Freeway Lady" will be located on the Valley College campus. It's proximity to the "Great Wall" mural in the Tujunga Wash, which is located on the eastern side of the campus, will make the Valley College—and the community of Valley Glen—a centerpiece of mural art in Los Angeles.
About the Freeway Lady
Twitchell painted the "Freeway Lady" mural in 1974 to honor his grandmother who lived in Hollywood. The real afghan modeled in the painting was handmade by his grandmother. He choose character actress Lillian Bronson (1902-1995), who reminded Twitchell of his grandmother, to be his model.
It was a well-known piece of Los Angeles mural art stood on the exterior wall of the Angeles Prince Hotel, which is next to the Hollywood Freeway. It stood for 12 years until it was tragically painted over by a billboard company in 1986.
For years, Twitchell looked for alternate place to bring the "Freeway Lady" back to life. It was supposed to be painted on the side of the Valley Institute of Visual Art (VIVA) gallery. Unfortunately, plans fell through and the "Freeway Lady" began looking for a new home again.
Bringing the Freeway Lady to Valley College
In 2010, the LAVC Public Art Committee was looking for its first project to be commissioned on the college campus. The repainting of the "Freeway Lady" mural is the first public art project approved by the LAVC Public Art Committee.
Twitchell is currently painting the "Freeway Lady" again. A new front afghan was created by members of the Crochet Guild of Sacramento. The flying afghan streamer was created by Peggy Baxter of Long Beach. In addition, students from Valley College are being permitted to assist the artist in the painting of a portion of the mural.
The college is also currently filming a documentary on the arrival of the "Freeway Lady" at Valley College.
The college plans to unveil the new "Freeway Lady" mural in 2014, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the painting of the original mural.