These historic walls were originally part of the Venice Pavilion that was built in 1961. The specific area where these walls are located was called "The Pit" or the "Graffiti Pit". During this period the walls were often painted with graffiti style murals. It was technically illegal to paint the walls then, but was generally tolerated by the Police and was loved by the community. In 1999 the Pavilion was torn down, but a portion of the walls were preserved as a living memorial to the high quality artwork that had been painted on the walls for over twenty-five years.
In 2000 it became legal to paint the walls
The area was renamed the Venice Graffiti Walls. In Creative Unity (ICU Art), a Venice-based graffiti art production company has been serving as the Curator for the walls since this time. From 2000 until 2003 artists had to submit sketches to ICU Art in order to be scheduled to paint on one of the four large walls. Painting on the small walls and cones was open. My name is Stash Maleski and I am the Director and Founder of ICU Art. I have volunteered my time as Curator of the walls as a service to the people of Venice and the street artists of Los Angeles for over six years now.
In 2007 the walls will again be renamed as the Venice Public Art Walls or the Venice Art Walls for short. The Art Walls are entering a new era. Painting on the walls will be by permit only and will only happen on weekends when ICU Art is present to open up the walls. This change has come about because of complaints by Venice area residents of increased vandalism attributed to the presence of the walls. In an effort to keep the walls here, and in an effort to work with the community to reduce illegal vandalism, the area will be governed by new rules and regulations.