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Home Arts and Culture Updated: The new Santora building owner paints over a mural and a gallery

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Updated: The new Santora building owner paints over a mural and a gallery

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This is where the Santora mural used to be

This is where the Santora mural used to be

When Newport Beach resident Jack Jakosky bought the Santora building, in October of this year, he told the Voice of OC that “I want to increase the number of art-related tenants,” Jakosky said. “It needs to go back to its roots, frankly, and that’s my objective.”

“I think Jack is genuinely interested in using the Santora to support the arts in Santa Ana,” said Mike McGee, director of the Cal State Fullerton Begovich Gallery and a founder of the Grand Central Art Center. “I think he sees the Santora as an opportunity to use his knowledge about commercial properties and give back to the community at the same time,” according to the O.C. Register.

But tonight I found out that Jakosky has painted over a mural in the Santora basement that was painted by several artists including Matt Southgate and Alicia Rojas.  He also painted over the storefront of the Studio del Sotano, which is run by Southgate.

What the Santora Mural looked like before it was destroyed

What the Santora Mural looked like before it was destroyed

The mural, dubbed “Surreal Santora” was created as part of the 84th Anniversary of the Santora Building, two years ago.  The artists celebrated the Santora’s 85th Anniversary last year.

Photo is from the UASA website:

Photo is from the UASA website:

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido and most of the Santa Ana City Council were at the inauguration of this mural in July of 2012.  This time they were all MIA as the Santora’s new owner acted essentially in secret – painting over the mural during a holiday week.

The Studio del Sotano before...

The Studio del Sotano before…

Apparently Jakosky had the mural destroyed without any input from the Santora artists.  Southgate emailed him and asked him not to paint over the mural, to no avail.  According to Southgate, Jakosky’s email response indicated that he wanted to spruce up the place.

Newsong Church, of Irvine, tried to buy the Santora building before Jakosky acquired it but the deal fell out of escrow when the Santora artists became concerned that the church would mess with the arts.  You have to wonder now if they would have been better off with Newsong as their landlord.

The Studio Del Sutano now...

The Studio Del Sutano now…

Jakosky’s rash decision to destroy the Santora mural may put him in hot water with the Federal Government.  “In December 1990, after more than ten years of debate, Congress passed the Visual Artists Rights Act, representing one of the most significant changes in American copyright law in its two-hundred-year history. This law granted new rights for American artists called “moral rights”: first, the “right of attribution,” which grants artists the right to be identified with their works, and second, the “right of integrity,” which grants artists the right to protect their works from modification or destruction. The passage of VARA imposes a legal liability for those who destroy, alter, or mutilate a mural and requires conservators to preserve the artistic intent of the artist,” according to a report by Ann Garfinkle that was published by the The J. Paul Getty Trust.

Jakosky also made the news when his  La Toscana Village center, in Tucson, AZ, was closed after six people were killed and Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona, Retired) was seriously wounded by an apparently crazed gunman the morning of Jan. 8, 2011, according to the OC Weekly.

The City of Santa Ana recently announced that they would be forming an Arts Commission.  Well it looks like they won’t be able to save the Santora mural but perhaps they can open an investigation into what happened.

We can only hope that Jakosky won’t be importing artists from south Orange County to paint whales and dolphins on the walls of the Santora building.

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39 Comments  comments 

39 Responses

  1. Mateo

    I am sure that he will be held about accountable as Santa Ana city politicians are held accountable for laundering their campaign donations
    And the Federal Reserve is held accountable for laundering money through Privatized Banks.
    And the U.S. military accountable for bombing wedding parties with drone strikes!

  2. Or even worse than whales and dolphins are the gentrified dia de los muertos paintings I saw for sale in an alley in Laguna Beach (renamed “Ghetto Row” for the occasion )

  3. Will

    The mural was an eyesore and should have been painted over if the Santora Building seeks to become a better venue for contemporary artists.

    • Jenny Lynn

      Regardless of your opinions on the mural, he should have asked permission from the artists first according to the law cited in the article.

    • Grace

      I thought Matt Southgate’s mural was beautiful and inspiring. Plus, it was painted by an artist working to make the Santora a better venue for contemporary artists. His mural was literally whitewashed, which does nothing to help the Santora become a better venue for artists. Instead, it sends a message that artists are not valued and art can be destroyed or censored on a whim, without concern for the law. Besides, the real eyesores are all the graffiti-style walls being commissioned in the East End, which don’t do anything but increase destructive tagging of local businesses and historic buildings. In its two years, Matt Southgate’s mural was not tagged even once, while the Santora and other buildings are being tagged and etched every week. I hope Mr. Jakosky commissions Matt to paint a new murla in its place. It was a source of community pride.

    • Theo

      Hey will

      I have an idea. Go f*ck yourself

  4. Mateo

    Show us some examples of your quality contemporary art Will.
    names? google images? web sites? impress us with your aesthetic. Is that possible?

    • Chris

      Don’t reply to goons like that, Matt. He’s just looking to get a rise out of people– another drive-by poster who is a dime a dozen.

  5. Mike

    He bought the building he can do with it what he wants. He has every right to paint whales and dolphins or whatever on it if he chooses. Here is a solution to your problem save your money and buy your own building.

    • Except of course for the matter of the Federal law that protects the copyrights of muralists…

      • Seamus MacDuff

        Copyright law would only apply if the building owner duplicated the artwork and commercialized it in some manner. Not that I approve – but it is his building – he can do with it as he pleases.

        • True but this is no way to build relationships with the artists.

          • Chris

            Wow… more of the same potshots usually found in the Weekly. Do you guys build in your own rabble-rousers? Seriously though, thanks for putting up the article. It’s important in the historical dialogue of downtown SA. It’s interesting how people state obvious facts when they can’t back up their POV. We all know that the building belongs to the man who purchased it–albeit more than likely bank financed over many, many years [this is an important point]. We also understand that as the owner he has the right–with some legal exceptions–to do as he pleases with his building. What we have a problem with is being disrespected by someone who has shown right off the bat has no respect for others. Making it known that artists are welcome but then making changes which show that residency is conditional, but without stating so, shows little respect for any resident artist and calls into question how much else in the future will be omitted, glossed over, etc. And how forthright this owner will be with the tenants. Yes, he can do what he wishes with the building… the problem isn’t with ‘ownership.’ The problem is with honesty and integrity.

  6. Mateo

    Editor, that full image of the mural in your article is not even the completed version. The completed version was more polished and detailed. There are meanings behind every bit of symbolism utilized in the mural. The green buildings in the background represented the menacing spectre that is capitalistic greed and power, high finance, corporate imperialism, and social programming, a Veil of Illusion, an “Emerald City”.

  7. Anonymous

    What’s next? He will turn it in to the church of Scientology?

  8. Anonymous

    image has been sent

  9. Carpetbagger

    Sorry to Digress, but (I am sure Mateo will agree), Goddamn, Martinez has big CANNON’S!

    Too bad she is who she is. I am sure they’re gonna love them when she arrives at the Chowchilla facility for women.

  10. Mateo

    Martinez Cannon’s are lovely. However that is not the point Carpetbagger!
    Some people are so afraid of mixing art and sexuality and politics that they have absolute knee jerk conniption fits!, psychological break downs and irrational desires to White Wash everything in sight to avoid further hysterical malfunctions. Welcome to suppressed America!

  11. Mateo

    Martinez’s Cannons.

  12. Mateo

    Watching that video makes it completely obvious doesn’t it? The problem building ownership has with the mural has little to do with the aesthetics of the mural its self. The problem that ownership has is with the liberated Latinas enjoying themselves in front of it, in peace, at peace, spreading peace and love. Peace Out.

    • I guess the new owner would prefer to have his fellow Newport Beach denizens hanging out at the Santora.

      • Mateo

        Of course they would!
        They know absolutely not a thing about art, aesthetics, society or politics. Conducting Business in the shadows is their art.
        What else are they going to do with too much accumulated capital?
        avoid truth at all costs? Yep!
        sounds supremely ignorant but convenient doesn’t it?

  13. Mateo

    One last “word” Editor, Is it true that the illuminati send select property owners to disrupt and dismantle hot beads of populace activism such as Tucson Arizona and Santa Ana, California? Don’t be lazy Santa Ana. Do your social research!

  14. Mateo

    So Sore you are Editor!
    But exactly how valuable is this conversation?
    Things to ponder! Things to consider!
    F$$$$$ck Them!

  15. […] Here are some links about the history of the mural, the building and us artists. […]

  16. Joe Flocci

    I agree that painting over the mural was a huge misstep on the part of the new owner. A true Artist Village needs to embrace a wide variety and styles of art in order to be a center of creativity. Unfortunately, the mural is not covered under the stated law because (1) it is not on public land or public easement, (2) the mural was not based upon a written contract or included within the lease and (3) entry into the building is by consent of the building owner exclusively. If Matt had a contract stipulating that the integrity of his mural and associated copyright would run with the building and its successors and assigns, he would be in a great position to declare damages and violation of the law. I don’t think that is the case here. Ethically, Jack blew it! The first thing you shouldn’t do is destroy art that has already in place. I miss seeing Joe Musil, Michael Cunningham, Gerald Swartz, Anthony Ross and many more that have moved on… but that’s the way of a village. People come and they go. I hope Matt will be able to paint something new and this time with a contract that protects his work substantially.

  17. Mateo

    Thank You Joe.
    You sound like an educated man of conscience and common sense.

  18. Mateo

    Editor, I liked how you wrote about the “apparently crazed gunman” in Tucson Arizona. Such a convenient narrative they weave.

  19. Dylan

    Yes Mike, lets continue to be complacent in a world where anyone with more money than you can shit on you with impunity. I’m glad someone here is sticking up for the rich.

  20. Anonymous

    Anyone who wants should bring something to build a memorial for the Santora Mural. One night only, January 4th first Saturday. Leave it at the mural site. Candles, flowers, no signs the objects will speak for themselves. Let us honor something that is no longer with us.

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