Portraits Of Hope Public Art Project To Transform Beach Lifeguard Towers

This summer more than 100 of the Los Angeles County beach lifeguard towers will be visually transformed as part of a massive public art and civic project developed by Portraits of Hope, in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association.

The project and exhibition has been approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Fire Chief and the Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors. It involves creating and installing hand-painted artwork on form-fitting art panels on four sides of more than 100 lifeguard towers and their roof tops. Painting of the panels began in January and installation will begin in May. This weekend, on Saturday, February 20, Los Angeles County Lifeguards, will be painting exterior tower panels between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at 13535 Mindanao Way, in Marina Del Rey.

This is a unique and truly wonderful opportunity for hospitalized youngsters and others to discover, grow and show the world their creative abilities, said Steve Powell, of the Los Angeles County Lifeguard Association. What better way to show the world the amazing creative powers of our young people than to put their work on public display on Los Angeles County beaches visited by millions of Americans every summer.

In January, Portraits of Hope began daily program sessions throughout L.A. County schools, hospitals, and youth groups. Participants began to learn about public art, civic education, and teamwork while engaging in creative therapy. They began painting pre-designed panels that, in keeping with the job lifeguards do, represent environmental and healthy lifestyle concerns. Many will be painting with their mouths or feet, added Powell.

Portraits of Hope projects serve as creative therapy for thousands. Portraits of Hope has provided children and adults facing cancer, burn trauma, spinal injuries, HIV/AIDS, head and brain injuries, and other serious medical problems with innovative, fun, and therapeutic activities that let them enjoy and take pride in themselves during their medical care and rehab.

To meet individual needs of children and adults with disabilities, Portraits of Hope has developed specialized brushes and painting methods including telescoping paint brushes for children and adults in wheelchairs or attached to IVs, shoe brushes for children and adults with injured upper limbs or who cannot manipulate a brush with their hands, and flavored mouth brushes for those with limited or no movement in their arms and legs.

Portraits of Hope’s numerous bedside visits provide creative therapy to hospitalized children from toddler to 17. They are a great inspiration to these kids and to everyone else. We are extremely fortunate to have this organization serving our community, said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe.

Ultimately, over 5,000 local children and others from schools, hospitals and youth groups will be involved in the project. Previous Portraits of Hope Projects, including NASCAR racecars, airport control towers, the Osaka Sports Arena, and all of NYC’s taxicabs. The group’s efforts have received national and international attention. For more information, visit www.portraitsofhope.org