Route 66, “the highway that’s the best,” runs right through West Hollywood, following the course of Santa Monica Boulevard. Established in November 1926, it remains one of the nation’s greatest enduring symbols of Americana. In celebration and commemoration of the 90th anniversary of this iconic highway, the City of West Hollywood ? through WeHo Arts and the City’s Department of Public Works ? commissioned a unique Route 66-themed temporary outdoor installation as part of the “Art on the Outside” public art program. Installed this week on perimeter construction fencing at the southwest corner of Santa Monica and Crescent Heights Boulevards, “The Kicks of Route 66” is by YoMeryl, the Los Angeles-based Pop Art studio team of Bronwyn Lundberg and Sarah Zucker.
The mural measures 7 x 684 feet, and comprises 32 vivid panels featuring the journeys of expressive, anthropomorphic shoes, or “Kicks,” traversing the entirety of Route 66 from east to west, as day turns to night. Their diversity implies individuals from every walk of life out on the road, and they pop-out from the background in a style reminiscent of traditional cel-based animation.
“The Kicks of Route 66” also pays tribute to the timeless American hit song “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66,” written by Bobby Troup and originally recorded and popularized in 1946 by the King Cole Trio. As the lyrics reel off colorful locations en route, the mural depicts the flow of landscape and culture along Historic Route 66 and celebrates its terminus in California. Renderings of famous landmarks in YoMeryl’s work include the Blue Whale of Catoosa, OK; Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX; and representing West Hollywood: Barney’s Beanery, The Troubadour, Laurel Hardware, Emser Tile, Formosa Café, Baby Blues Café, The Diver neon sign, and the Santa Monica Boulevard nightclubs. The mural will remain on view into 2017. For more information and a complete list of landmarks, visit: http://www.weho.org/residents/weho-arts-and-culture/visual-arts/art-on-the-outside/the-kicks-of-route-66.
About the artists: YoMeryl (Bronwyn Lundberg + Sarah Zucker, www.yomeryl.com), is a Pop Art Studio based in Los Angeles that specializes in Animated GIF and Public Art. Bronwyn Lundberg is a painter and illustrator, known for her iconic work, “The Lesbian Last Supper.” She holds a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Sarah Zucker is a writer/director and media artist. She holds a BA from Northwestern University and an MFA from New York University, and is a Jeopardy! champion.
Also in commemoration of 90 years of Route 66, the City of West Hollywood is hosting a street party that will take place on Sunday, November 13, 2016 from 2-4PM at the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Holloway Drive, adjacent to the Sal Guarriello Veterans’ Memorial and to Barney’s Beanery. Everyone is invited to get their kicks at this free celebration, with treats for the whole family including: tastes of chili from Barney’s Beanery, which was established in 1920 and became a classic Route 66 diner; classic soda pop; live music by Murphy’s Flaw, who play an “Eclectigrass” mix of bluegrass, jazz, and country; and a display of classic Ford Mustangs from the 1960s, courtesy of the car club ClassicStangs. There will also be Route 66-themed giveaways with a West Hollywood flair.
For additional information about the WeHo Arts mural installation “The Kicks of Route 66,” please contact Rebecca Ehemann, the City of West Hollywood’s Public Art Coordinator, at (323) 848-6846 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the City of West Hollywood’s Route 66 Neighborhood Celebration, please contact Andi Lovano in the City of West Hollywood’s Council Offices at (323) 848-6460 or email@example.com. For people who are deaf or hearing impaired, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.
Image at top: Banner 27 (of 32) from “The Kicks of Route 66” by YoMeryl