Artist Corie Mattie is known as LA’s Hope Dealer. Primarily a muralist, Mattie aims to positively impact the community through her bright and positive works, with doves being a hallmark of her work.
“Doves are a universal symbol of new beginnings and peace,” Mattie said.
Earlier this year, the intersection of Selma and Schrader had been anything but peaceful. Despite being designated as a Special Enforcement and Cleaning Zone (SECZ) by the City of Los Angeles following the construction of a nearby temporary transitional housing facility, a large-scale homeless encampment had overtaken the sidewalks around the Hollywood YMCA after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. While encampments were technically prohibited within the SECZ, the city suspended enforcement in March, 2020.
While the sidewalks became impassable for the many residents, school children at nearby Selma Elementary School, and handicapped individuals who travel through the neighborhood, the YMCA also began a renovation of their historic building, which required installation of a temporary plywood shell around the building’s exterior.
“My first week on the job, I kept hearing about an encampment on Schrader and Selma,” Kathleen Rawson, President and CEO of the Hollywood Partnership, said. “Then, within a week, the encampment was gone, and in its place was a very lengthy plywood wall, which I saw as a blank canvas.”
Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and his team partnered with professional outreach practitioners and other partners to move over 30 unhoused individuals living on Selma Ave. and Schrader Blvd. into safe, transitional housing.
“These efforts greatly reduced a large encampment and addressed safety and accessibility concerns along this important corridor,” according to a statement issued by O’Farrell.
Once the encampment was removed, Rawson contact Mattie, who she had previously worked with in Santa Monica. Before creating a design for the mural, Mattie looked into the history of the building itself – and its architect, Paul Revere Williams – for inspiration.
“Paul Williams was such a prolific architect in Los Angeles, and he was a trailblazer for African Americans,” Mattie said. “He learned to draw upside so that his white clients would be comfortable working with him. That’s why I put some of the doves in the mural upside down.”
While Mattie previously collaborated with the Melrose Arts District on painting doves on that famous street following the civil unrest of May, 2020, this is her first commissioned work in the Hollywood Entertainment District.
“With this mural, I really wanted to have a positive impact on the community. I hope the vibrant yellow color and the doves will brighten peoples’ moods when they see it, whether they’re a resident or a visitor,” Mattie said.
The Hollywood Partnership funded the mural through its new charitable non-profit, with its mission to Beautify Hollywood, with donations from area property owners and the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council. They worked in partnership with the Hollywood YMCA and the HP’s cleaning team to ensure the mural is maintained regularly.
As for Mattie, she is gearing up to continue dealing hope in Los Angeles through her murals. She’s specifically interested in working on murals for the upcoming LA Pride month in June, environmental causes, and LA’s most famous mountain lion, P-22.