A large mural of Venice founder Abbot Kinney now graces an outside wall of the Venice Post Office, 1601 Main St.
The five-by-12-foot mural on the outside of the facility is a copy of the one that was installed inside the lobby, which dates from the early 1940s.
Venice postmaster Art Santana, Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl and several Venice community activists unveiled the mural during a ceremony Thursday, November 15th. Additionally, a special stamp with a diminutive of the mural was designed as a souvenir for the event and received the Venice postmark.
“Abbot Kinney was a real visionary,” Santana said of the developer who founded Venice in 1905. “He saw the possibilities here when this area was little more than sand and marsh.”
While the large mural of Kinney decorates the outside post office wall, a smaller version of the mural graces the front cover of Venice’s annual 2008 calendar, a project which began three years ago and features fine art within the community.
The calendar is the brainchild of resident Stephen Pouliot, who dreamed of a Venice centennial calendar for the community’s 100-year celebration, post office spokesman Larry Dozier said. The calendar is given to area residents, schools and business establishments, and was available at the mural site.
This year the calendar features murals of Venice. Quite a few local residents and government officials participated in the unfurling ceremony.
Resident Brad Kay wrote an original anthem and performed it with a community choir at the ceremony. Local resident Brandon Maggart wrote and recited a poem, “Diversity in Venice.”
The oil-on-canvas mural of Kinney inside the post office is the work of artist Edward Biberman and is titled, Story of Venice. The work was commissioned by the Section of Fine Arts of the United States Department of the Treasury, and was installed at the post office on August 11th, 1941.
“Edward Biberman was envisioning the beauty of it all, while Abbot [Kinney] was envisioning the City of Venice,” said Suzanne Zeda, an Edward Biberman Estate representative.
Besides the mural in the Venice Post Office, Biberman executed two other mural commissions on direct order from the Section of Fine Arts, in the Federal Building in Los Angeles.