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This profile was last updated on 9/19/15  and contains information from public web pages.

Board Member

Phone: (213) ***-****  HQ Phone
The Mural Conservancy
155 West Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles , California 90015
United States

Company Description: The mural is made up of 10 circles, and among the themes depicted are birth, death, war and maternity. The artist is based in San Antonio, Texas. Hector Ponce,...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • MFA
    Otis Art Institute
  • BA
    California State University , Los Angeles
177 Total References
Web References
KENT TWITCHELL has painted ..., 19 Sept 2015 [cached]
KENT TWITCHELL has painted Jesus on the sides of buildings in Los Angeles four times. One of those Jesuses (until it was whitewashed recently by a new property owner) was on the exterior of a liquor store at Vermont Avenue and 111th Street, in a gang-patrolled part of south Los Angeles known by city homicide detectives as "death alley. Another Jesus, forty feet tall, gazes out over traffic along Wilshire Boulevard in the city's bustling mid-section from the side of the former Otis College of Art and Design, Twitchell's art school alma mater.
Kent Twitchell. 111th Street Jesus, 1984. South Central Los Angeles. Acrylic. 14 x 50 feet.
The paint was applied in patterns similar to a child's color-by-numbers kit, with Twitchell sometimes suspended from a pulley to reach the highest parts of a wall. Up close, the images dissolve into rivulets of color that seem to flow around and alongside one another like streams of magnetized water that abut but never mix. From a distance, the patterns blend and harmonize into startlingly realistic likenesses. Some of Twitchell's murals are as tall as eight stories. They stare out over the city like bright, flat, fully realized emissaries from a realm of giants. A quality of tremendous stillness surrounds them. The most effective, including all four murals of Jesus, give the impression of having existed long before the city arose, as if Twitchell did not paint them but rather scrubbed away some blemish in the air that had obscured them. This quality was especially evident in the now-vanished Jesus on the side of the death-alley liquor store. Photographs show a long-haired, bearded Hispanic man clothed in white and red robes opening his arms against a blank background nearly the width of the building [see Plate 1]. The gesture seems to invite the viewer into mural-land, where the hardships of urban life are dissolved in the quiet exactitude of art.
Kent Twitchell, Old Woman of the Freeway
PLATE 3. Kent Twitchell. Old Woman of the Freeway, 1974. Hollywood Freeway, Los Angeles. Acrylic. 30 x 22 feet.
Twitchell, seventy-one, has been painting murals in Los Angeles since 1971, when, as an undergraduate at California State University, Los Angeles, he covered the side of a two-story Victorian house in the city's Pico-Union neighborhood with a pale blue image of actor Steve McQueen. Twitchell is now considered the dean of mural art in Los Angeles, itself widely considered the mural capital of the United States. His images are an iconic, if fragile, part of the city's ever-changing streetscape. Twitchell's eight-story-tall rendering of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Harbor Freeway Overture, has greeted traffic-jammed travelers to downtown Los Angeles from the side of a high-rise parking structure overlooking Interstate 110 for more than two decades. Another freeway-adjacent mural, Old Woman of the Freeway [see Plate 3], a striking 1974 image near the Hollywood Freeway of a blue-eyed, gray-haired matriarch clad in a brown bathrobe and a python-like multihued crocheted afghan, was the city's best known mural until a property owner abruptly painted it over in 1986 to make way for a billboard. Amid public outcry, Twitchell helped to establish the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, dedicated to cataloguing and preserving the city's rich history of mural art. With the conservancy's encouragement, Twitchell sued the building owner and was awarded $125,000, though it took him five years to collect the settlement.
Kent Twitchell, Six Los Angeles Artists (detail),
PLATE 5. Kent Twitchell. Six Los Angeles Artists (detail), 1979. Torrance, California. Acrylic. 20 x 110 feet
It is no accident that Los Angeles's best known muralist has covered the sides of city buildings with images such as Holy Trinity with the Virgin [see Plate 4],111th Street Jesus, or Seventh Street Altarpiece, or even Six Los Angeles Artists, a 1979 mural on the back wall of a state employment development office in the suburban city of Torrance that uses the likenesses of six of Twitchell's artist friends to depict Jesus in the company of apostles Peter, James, and John, Mary the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene [see Plate 5].
Speaking late last year in his large, cluttered downtown LA studio, Twitchell said he aimed to create in viewers a sense of awe akin to his own feelings when he saw his first medieval cathedral while stationed in England as an Air Force illustrator in the 1960s. "There's something about looking up like that that makes you feel small but not insignificant. Every person, even an atheist, has a vacuum inside that can only be filled by God. And that should be captured in a work of art."
Kent Twitchell, Holy Trinity with the Virgin (detail)
PLATE 4. Kent Twitchell. Holy Trinity with the Virgin (detail), 1978. Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles. Acrylic. 40 x 56 feet.
The definition of what precisely Twitchell has captured in the more than four decades he has spent painting giant-sized human figures on the sides of buildings varies depending on who's looking. For some in the city's arts establishment, the content of his work matters less than the paternal role he has played in LA's mural legacy. "I would consider him the grandfather of murals in LA," says Isabel Rojas-Williams, executive director of the Mural Conservancy, whose office adjoins Twitchell's studio on the ground floor of a nearly century-old, fourteen-story former furniture warehouse.
Scott Haskins, a California mural conservation expert who has helped to restore murals throughout the United States and Europe, singles out Twitchell for "his techniques and integrity and painting and motivation.
Twitchell, he says, "is one of the grandfathers of the highest quality of mural painting possible."
Twitchell, Joseph said, has managed to sidestep the pitfalls that can trip up artists of faith.
Twitchell neither avoids nor exploits religious themes. "Kent could have been Thomas Kinkade if he wanted to," Joseph said.
Twitchell readily identifies himself as a Christian, though he doesn't currently attend a church. ("I got out of the habit," he says. "I don't think not going is a cool thing.") He also readily admits to having dabbled in Scientology, Transcendental Meditation, "eastern mysticism and out-of-body experiences," marijuana, mescaline, and LSD, until "I remember thinking to myself, 'This is boring. This is just boring. I don't understand why most of these people haven't moved on from this.' It took away your ambition. For a time earlier in his career, Twitchell attended Grace Community Church, an evangelical megachurch in the San Fernando Valley, which he praises for its pastor's "emphasis on doctrine. "Doctrine is very important to me," he says.
Twitchell has described his faith on various occasions, and in varying terms, as a quest to encounter, and to represent in works of art, the unchanging truth of God.
Twitchell was born on August 17, 1942, in Lansing, Michigan. He was raised on what he describes as a "small family farm, of which there were many" in a rural area southwest of the city. Twitchell recalls "growing up like on the Lassie TV show, with grandma and grandpa living next door, sort of like The Waltons. (The Virgin Mary in The Holy Trinity with the Virgin, the forty-foot-tall mural on the side of the former Otis art college building, is modeled on character actress Jan Clayton, who played the mother on Lassie in the 1950s.) Twitchell's father, Bob, was a foreman at a local car factory in addition to farming corn, wheat, oats, and a small herd of Holstein dairy cows.
Twitchell retains the unboastful, low-key affect of a man raised in the Midwest, though he is in no way self-effacing or hesitant to speak his mind. Wiry, diminutive, and crowned with a mane of gray hair swept back from his forehead, he resembles the actor and stuntman Richard Farsnworth, who starred in the 1999 David Lynch movie The Straight Story. Twitchell's blue-gray eyes dart restlessly when he talks, and he frequently rubs his face and beard with his hands, as if wiping clean the slate of his mind to make room for more thoughts. In conversation he jumps from topic to topic, following trains of association that start with, say, a freeway mural he painted at the behest of organizers of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and end with how he met his second wife, Pandora, a long and colorful story involving gypsies, a Paul Anka record, and using prayer to ward off a hex. (He and Pandora are still married, and have a twenty-two-year-old son, Artie.)
When I met him at his studio late last year, he greeted me on the sidewalk wearing jeans, a gray paint-spattered sweatshirt, and black leather shoes. He led me inside, pausing every few steps to point out sketches, newspaper clippings and giant-sized mural studies hanging from the walls, including one panel painted with a ten-foot-wide rendering of Michael Jackson's eyes-a study for a mural put on indefinite hold following Jackson's embroil
About Us | Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, 9 Sept 2015 [cached]
Kent Twitchell MCLA Co-Founder
This video link of the art ..., 14 Nov 2011 [cached]
This video link of the art conservation/restoration of monumental realistic beautiful outdoor mural by Kent Twitchell at Biola University will take you to the dedicated page for this project. Kent teamed up with Scott Haskins to resolve difficult conservation questions and FACL's Virginia Panizzon helped with the color matching and color development processes.
Kent Twitchell is the leading muralist in Los Angeles, known world wide. Put his name into Google and pack a lunch cause there's a lot of interesting stuff to read. His murals are always huge, gorgeous, realistic and interesting.
He is also the co-founder of the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles and is a driving force to get outdoor murals protected from graffiti. He's been doing murals for decades.
With the support of Presenting Sponsor ... [cached]
With the support of Presenting Sponsor JP Morgan Chase and a host of national and local partners, Sankofa Fine Art Plus has commissioned nationally renowned muralist Kent Twitchell to work with select local artists and community members to honor one of Karamu House's most successful alumnus, Ruby Dee.
Twitchell will lead the artist apprentices in the creation and installation of the 40-by-36-foot mural of Ruby Dee from this summer on outside of the theater, 2355 E. 89th St. The apprentices will learn Twitchell's unique "Grid System" mural-painting method.
Twitchell is a faculty member at the Fresco School in Los Angeles, the only art school offering curriculum in true fresco techniques and mural painting. His monumental murals have become tourist attractions in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Renowned muralist Kent Twitchell needs a few good hands for larger-than-life-sized Ruby Dee mural planned for Karamu House
However, Sankofa Fine Art Plus has invited the world renowned mural artist, Kent Twitchell, to immortalize the graceful actress on a mural for "Artovation," the Fairfax community mural project.
"Her contribution to the performing arts, most notably to Cleveland's African-American theater tradition and Cleveland's historic Fairfax neighborhood, made Ms. Dee hands-down the perfect subject of this important mural project by one of the country's most celebrated mural artists, Kent Twitchell."
Twitchell will be the artist-in-residence for Artovation. The Los Angeles-based grand scale artist has already begun painting and constructing the 40-by-36-foot mural, which will be installed May 1-20, 2013 on the west-facing side of the historic African-American theater (2355 E. 89th St.) in Cleveland's Fairfax neighborhood.
Twitchell is known for his unique "Grid System and Parachute Cloth" mural-painting method which uses acrylic paint attached to a non-woven polyester cellulose silk fabric blend.
Twitchell is a faculty member at the Fresco School in Los Angeles, the only art school offering curriculum in true fresco techniques and mural painting.
Renowned muralist Kent Twitchell needs a few good hands for
However, Sankofa Fine Art Plus has invited the world renowned mural artist Kent Twitchell to immortalize the graceful actress on a mural, and local artists will have a number of opportunities to participate in the historic event.
Twitchell will be the artist-in-residence for the mural project entitled "Artovation.
Twitchell is known for his unique "Grid System and Parachute Cloth" mural-painting method which uses acrylic paint attached to a non-woven polyester cellulose silk fabric blend.
Twitchell is a faculty member at the Fresco School in Los Angeles, the only art school offering curriculum in true fresco techniques and mural painting.
famed muralist Kent Twitchell.
June 14, 2011 (Cleveland, OH) - Cleveland ethnic arts nonprofit Sankofa Fine Art Plus was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation to support its ArtOhio Project - Muralist Training Program.
For the project, famed mural artist Kent Twitchell will work with up to a dozen local artists to complete a life-size portrait of Ruby Dee, an actress with Cleveland roots whose early days were shaped by Cleveland's historic Karamu House theatre.
Twitchell, of Los Angeles, has earned a following of art enthusiasts, celebrities and community arts advocates for his signature mural painting style. He pioneered a process which uses silk or polyester parachute fabric as an interface material. He then uses a conventional grid system and parachute cloth method.
"We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with Sankofa Fine Art Plus and JP Morgan Chase Foundation to bring Kent Twitchell's cutting edge work to Cleveland," said Karamu House Executive Director Gregory J. Ashe.
Panelists: Eric Bjorgum, Karish & Bjorgum ..., 1 May 2014 [cached]
Panelists: Eric Bjorgum, Karish & Bjorgum Intellectual Property Law; Felicia Filer, Department of Cultural Affairs' Director of the Public Art Division; Willie Herrón III, Artist & MCLA's restorer; José Huizar, LA City Councilmember 14th District; Allison "Hueman" Torneros, Artist; Kent Twitchell, Artist & MCLA's Co-Founder.
Kent Twitchell has been an artist and street muralist since the late 60s. He painted his first signed murals in 1971, "Steve McQueen Monument" in Downtown LA and "Strother Martin Monument" in Hollywood. Kent has painted "The Hollywood Freeway Lady", "The Bride & Groom", monuments to visual artists Ed Ruscha, Lita Albuquerque, Jim Morphesis, Gary Lloyd, and others. 
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