When printmaker Daniel Gonz?ílez was asked by Metro to submit a proposal for artwork for the La Cienega Station on the new Expo Line, he didn't hesitate on the theme. Says Daniel, "I retell on the art panels the history of the peopling of this area, the transformation of space into place."
His love for history and the strong focus in the printmaking tradition led him to create his work Engraved in Memory/Memoria grabada: Eight blockprint panels that depict the changing landscape of the intersection of La Cienega and Jefferson.
Beginning with a panel showing a Tongva settlement, Los Angeles' First People, he then goes on to show the Portola Expedition, the first Spanish overland expedition that surveyed the land and decided the area should be allotted for the future settlement of the Pueblo de Los Angeles.
The next panel is dedicated to the Californio period in which he shows cattle being herded by vaqueros on horseback. The area was the meeting point of four ranchos, one of which was Rancho Las Cienegas, which is what the origins of the namesake of La Cienega Blvd. The wealthy Mexican cattle rancher, Francisco Avila whose house still exists today at Olvera Street at El Pueblo Historical Monument, owned the ranch.
Next is a depiction of a Hollywood western being filmed in Ballona Creek, which was the site of many early western movies. The following panel shows the 1932 Olympic Village, the first ever built where Kenneth Hahn Park is today. The only surviving piece of the Olympic Village is the cabin where the Mexican National Team was housed and is now used as a small shop at Olvera Street. The athletes shown are Gustavo Huet Bobadillla, who won silver for the Men's rifle shooting and Francisco Caba??as who won silver in a controversial decision in men's flyweight boxing.
The next panel shows the Baldwin Hills Dam failure, which was the first televised disaster and washed out a part of the Baldwin Hills neighborhood. The last two panels feature views of the neighborhood and panoramas of the area as it is today.
"This rediscovery of our past gives us perspective on our present moment," says Daniel.
On April 28, 2012, from 11 am - 5 pm, there will be a reception with the artists and the original artwork on display at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Site, 6300 Hetzler Rd., Culver City, CA