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Opinion

Don’t be cynical about a muralist’s gift to fire-ravaged Paradise

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One of muralist Shane Grammer’s works in the ruins of Paradise, Calif., on Feb. 23.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I appreciate the June 19 Column One piece about muralist Shane Grammer’s beautiful and moving gift to the residents of wildfire-devastated Paradise, Calif.

Many of us in Southern California hurt for the loss in Paradise, and it’s hard because we don’t know what to do to help. We give to the Salvation Army. We want to deliver clothing or open up a back bedroom, but we are still so far away. Wouldn’t the folks in the north feel the same way about us in the south if we were buried under earthquake rubble?

I hope Grammer can turn down the volume on the voices from people who feel the need to put him down. After all, he is actually in Paradise, doing what he can. I am one inspired Californian on the sidelines, applauding his courage to make visible unseen beauty and express the power of the human spirit.

Kathryn Anderson, Costa Mesa

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To the editor: There are some days I am so grateful that I have a daily Los Angeles Times delivered to me in Joshua Tree. You cover the art scene brilliantly in the Calendar section, but main news coverage is extra special.

On June 13, Gustavo Arellano’s report and Irfan Khan’s photos of Arnulfo Gonzalez’s art on his truck was sweet. More recently, the Column One by Laura Newberry with Carolyn Cole’s photos of Shane Grammer’s murals in the ruins of Paradise brought tears to my eyes.

We need art, especially living in a world as turned inside out as a pants pocket. Art is our human modifier. Finding art in incongruous places makes it all the more divine.

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Thank you, Los Angeles Times.

A. Starflower Thomson, Joshua Tree, Calif.

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