Photos by Tyler Hill.
When 6th Street ends at the east side of the LA River at the 710, it becomes an underpass that also acts as a shelter for those experiencing homelessness as well as a connection for bicyclists and pedestrians to access the bike path along the river.
And now, thanks to a handful of murals, it acts as a direct middle-finger to Trump over his decision to overturn DACA, the Obama Administration’s program that gives temporary protection to undocumented migrants who arrived in the US as children.
Under Trump, DACA will be eliminated in March of next year, putting over 800,000 men, women, and children who have been living here since childhood in further turmoil given they already live precarious lives.
These murals, commissioned by nonprofit StreetArtistInResidence (SAIR) and chosen through a plethora of applications submitted over the past year, span hundreds of feet. However, it welcomes visitors from its east side with a smaller mural off to the north edge from famed Hollywood street artist WRDSMTH: a small typewriter, a page scrolling out with the words “Dream bigger.”
When stepping through the underpass, you will witness everything from a depiction of Trump as It the Clown from Stephen King’s famous novel to Trump as The Dream Killer annihilating the poor beneath his omnipotent presence (with a red Nazi band included).
“We really have to send a special thanks to [1st District Councilmember Lena Gonzalez] for her collaboration on the project and tireless work to protect Dreamers in Long Beach. Lena is currently pushing local legislation to protect Long Beach Dreamers that could be modeled around the country—and we’re honored to be a part of that,” said SAIR founder Joshua Host.
According to Host, SAIR seeks to use street artists as integral political agitators—and that means residencies that can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days with the objective of connecting the LA region with international artists. (Think Pow! Wow! gone Capitol Hill.)
“During the residencies, artists stay on-site at the House of Trestles [our San Clemente office] and interact with fellow world travelers. During their stay, the residents are given wall space at the House of Trestles for murals that will set the backdrop for their capstone art exhibit at the end of their residency.”
The DREAMERS project is a special extension of these residencies.