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Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles names new president

.@theMCLA elects new board president, Eric Bjorgum

The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, which restores, preserves and documents historic and public art, has a new board president, attorney Eric Bjorgum.

Bjorgum has been on the Mural Conservancy board for three years. He replaces Bill Lasarow, who co-founded the nonprofit in 1987 with artist Kent Twitchell.

“Eric’s the perfect person for the job because he’s an expert on the VARA and CAPA laws that protect the rights of the artists,” said Mural Conservancy Executive Director Isabel Rojas-Williams. “As murals become more hot, and as we move forward, more people want to use them for more reasons -- on TV, films, documentary programs. And the artists need to know what their rights are and how to be compensated for their work, as well as what to do if their murals are erased.”

Bjorgum is an attorney with Karish & Bjorgum in Pasadena and Los Angeles. Lasarow, who remains on the board, will focus on fundraising for large-scale Mural Conservancy projects, Rojas-Williams said.

In the next month, Rojas-Williams said, the group's public art projects will include the restoration of artist Eloy Torrez’s downtown L.A. mural “The Pope of Broadway,” which depicts actor Anthony Quinn. Torrez painted the 70-foot work in 1985 on the side of the Victor Clothing Co. building on Broadway.

Since 2011, the organization has been restoring murals from the 1984 Olympics that appear along the 101 Freeway. The project's final step, preservation of Willie Herron III’s "Luchas del Mundo" ("Struggles of the World"), will start soon. Herron is restoring the work himself and will start sampling the paint and assessing conditions Friday.

“This is an exciting time for public art in Los Angeles,” Bjorgum said in a statement. “The city recognizes public art, and awareness of its unique issues continues to grow.”

Twitter: @debvankin

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