Jeff McMillan is one of the hardest working (and busiest) artists in Long Beach—so when we approached him to create an entryway into DTLB for Beach Streets this Saturday, March 19, we were doubly excited that he accepted.
After all, what creates McMillan’s crazy schedule—he’ll be jaunting straight from West Hollywood to DTLB to create this special piece for us—is the artist’s incredible ability to be flexible. It’s definitively hard to pinpoint a McMillan style—and that is what makes his work so captivating. Whether it is his work at the Convention Center for Pow! Wow! last year, his painting that depicts Kate Moss, Lindsay Lohan and Sienna Miller partying to their death in a dingy hotel room, or his meticulously created fictitious sport, Prigus, for RVCA, McMillan’s ability to act like a chameleon equally makes his art captivating. The guy even designs guitars.
For this special project, McMillan was inspired by the iconic dragon entryway into Chinatown in Los Angeles—but wanted to do something a bit more Long Beach.
”For Pow! Wow!, I played with blue herons but was limited in what I could depict,” McMillan said. “I like how raptor-like they are and think there is something primal about them fishing.”
Harkening to the bird’s hunting practices throughout Long Beach at places like Colorado Lagoon and El Dorado Park, a massive entryway will reflect this part of nature at the westbound entry of Broadway and Alamitos. Stretching 35 feet wide and 15 feet tall, bicyclists and footbound pedestrians alike will be able to pass through the heron-gone-fishin’ mural.
Ultimately, this project reflects many moving parts of how the arts scene is altering in DTLB: as our outdoor art collection grows—DTLB is now home to works, all accessible by foot in the public space, from some of the world’s leading contemporary artists, from James Jean and Tristan Eaton to Dabs Myla and Low Bros—so does the profile of our Long Beach artists. And for McMillan to harken to his Pow! Wow! mural while also nodding to Long Beach, that’s just an added bonus.
McMillan’s entryway will be placed at Broadway and Alamitos for Beach Streets, taking place Saturday, March 19 from 10AM to 5PM.