From the historic downtown district to local high school buildings and gymnasiums, Robin Golden’s murals are displayed on walls throughout Lake Elsinore and neighboring communities.
At the request of Golden and other local artists during the Planning Commission’s Sept. 4 meeting, commissioners Tuesday night discussed whether an arts commission should be established so the art community can provide input on issues involving public art. Commissioners also discussed regulations regarding murals.
Planning staff said Tuesday that a number of cities within California have established arts commissions to promote art activities and education, as well as advise city councils and commissions on arts and culture, art in public places and the adoption of ordinances and regulations for the preservation of arts and city aesthetics. Most of these commissions are required to meet monthly and serve without compensation.
“Some that I’ve researched, their role is to make recommendations to the city council regarding general plan policies and programs available for public art,” said Senior Planner Richard MacHott prior to the meeting. “Others have a more formal review process of certifying applications. It’s really a mix. It depends on the city and how it deals with public art.”
MacHott said there’s also a “mix of approaches” to how other cities regulate murals.
Although staff found that many cities do not have specific regulations regarding murals, staff was able to review mural provisions in the municipal codes of several cities throughout California as well as Portland, Ore.
Staff found that most of the surveyed cities require some form of approval for murals, but there is no consistent approval process. Some cities approve murals administratively while other cities require approval from the city council or planning commission.
Golden said she and other members of the local artists cooperative Studio 395 would be willing to provide officials input on murals, banners, signs and other art that might be displayed in the city. She said she also supports guidelines to preserve existing murals and allow new murals within the city as long as rules aren’t “cumbersome so that we can’t have any murals.”
“[Art] creates an ambiance,” said Golden, who has lived in Lake Elsinore for more that 20 years. “It creates a specific destination for people to come to.”
Golden said the 450-foot mural of a train she painted years ago in Old Town, Temecula, still draws people. She added there are abandoned buildings and walls in Lake Elsinore she could also “transform into something interesting” and use to showcase the city’s history.
“There’s some pretty big walls that I’ve had my eye on for a number of years,” Golden said.