It was just two weeks ago that Lindsey Horvath was the swing vote in a 3-2 approval of the modifications to the Faring Factory Project at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. at Robertson. Now, that very same corner features a larger-than-life mural of Horvath and an advertisement for her political campaign.
All murals or artwork are required to get a permit and approval from the Arts and Cultural Commission. This item did not go through the Commission.
The erection of the Horvath image and 4 County Supervisor plug whitewash a queer art installation that previously occupied the premises.
Jake Stevens, who represents Faring Capital, explained that the former artwork was granted as a “special event permit” which had expired. The walls were given to “Neighbors for Lindsey Horvath” an independent expenditure committee supporting Lindsey Horvath for County Supervisor.
The Independent Expenditure Committee, “Neighbors for Lindsey Horvath’ is run by Barbera Grover. Grover has a long history helping run one of Horvath’s City Council campaigns, and campaigns for Abbe Land and John Heilman. Grover has also worked with Horvath and Land on a number of projects. Grover also was part of the team that lobbied for approval of the Townscape project at 8850 Sunset Project.
Horvath, along with Councilmember John Erickson, carried the 3-2 vote to approve the modifications to the Faring project just two City Council meetings ago. Although it is illegal for an independent expenditure committee to coordinate with the campaign, Horvath would have to have had no knowledge of the mural.
Council members John Erickson explained to WEHOville that he was part of the “Neighbors for Lindsey Horvath’ Independent Expenditure Committee in the primary but was not part of the IE in this leg of the campaign. It would be illegal for the campaigns to coordinate.
The walls, a previous home for the Queer Art Installation over the Pride weekend, were whitewashed. Two artists, who told one resident they came from Arizona, and are being paid $45 an hour. That payment will be reported as an in-kind donation on an upcoming financial filing.
The City Council, along with Lindsey Horvath’s vote also voted to change the walking pattern on this same crosswalk to ‘all directions’ this past meeting, just before the mural began to take shape. The City Staff report pointed to the heavy traffic at this intersection upwards of 2,000 people per hour at peak times.
WEHOville was told the in-kind contribution for the mural was ‘below the minimum’. Billboards along Santa Monica and Sunset Blvd. are known to fetch price tags of $5,000 to $100,000 or more per month.
Despite the explanation by the developer to skirt the city’s Arts and Cultural Commission approval process, or the City of West Hollywood art in public guidelines, this is a mural on a construction wall and leans on the sidewalk in the public right of way and appears to violate the City of West Hollywood policy.
The shadowy tactics that allowed the mural to fly under the radar harken back to another project that evaded the city’s approval process: the repainting of the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd and San Vicente with a large transgender flag in the middle of the night without permits, a unilateral move spearheaded by Council member John Erickson. In her role as Mayor at the time Horvath watched the installation on public property without following any of processes or laws of the City of West Hollywood.
Let’s see if Code Compliance calls into question this out of the box installation directed by the ‘in-siders’ .