The mural Hermosa Jazz was officially unveiled Sunday afternoon. It is the third mural produced by the Hermosa Beach Murals Project, which is creating ten murals throughout the city over ten years.
More than a hundred people attended the unveiling, including the artist John Pugh and Howard Rumsey, who is credited with making Hermosa Beach a jazz hot spot back in the day at the Lighthouse Club.
The theme of this year’s mural was West Coast Jazz, and Pugh’s mural on the north-facing wall of 1007 Hermosa Avenue includes images of jazz greats Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan who played at the Lighthouse with Rumsey and the Lighthouse All-Stars.
Pugh, who is renown for his 3D-style mural art, said Hermosa Jazz is a fresh mix of past and present images.
“My whole schtick is creating illusion,” Pugh said. “Everyone likes to be tricked. People are drawn in.”
Pugh said he did his work during the day and into the night, which allowed him to experience the local day crowd downtown and young party crowd after hours.
“The community has been very great and supportive,” Pugh said, expressing hope that residents will like the mural.
Pugh’s mural was painted off site on a special fabric that was adhered to the side of the building. The technique allows it to be moved to another location at a later date if desired.
The non-profit murals project’s first mural was unveiled in 2011 with Art Mortimer view of downtown Hermosa Beach in 1924 on the north-facing wall of the downtown municipal parking structure at 14th Court and Hermosa Avenue. The second mural depicting Hermosa Beach in 1909 was done by Chris Coakley at Pier and Manhattan avenues on the side of the New Orleans Café.
“Throughout the 40s and 50s and 60s, Hermosa was the hottest place in Southern California for jazz,” said Chuck Sheldon, president of the murals project board of directors. Sheldon credited the many volunteers of the non-profit organization for helping to produce the mural and event, which took place in the Boardwalk Burgers restaurant parking lot.
“It takes a village to pull off a project like this,” Sheldon said.