The Peach Harvesters - North Hollywood, CA
Completed: May, 2001.
Description: 12' high by 60' wide acrylic on stucco.
Located: Located along the MTA railroad tracks between Vineland and Cahuenga on Chandler Blvd., North Hollywood, CA.
Funding: A Targeted Nieghborhood Initiative Project, Commissioned by the Chandler Outdoor Gallery.
Details: Unlike other Southern California developments whose chief crop was the orange, the Lankershim Ranch subdivision focussed on peaches, apples, pears, apricots and walnuts. In 1885 50,000 fruit and nut trees were planted with the intention of selling ready-made ranches. Few if any of these orchards remain today. By 1911, the local paper at the time, 'The Laconic' dubbed the town "the Home of the Peach," while adding "and a peach of a home." In 1907 Guy Weddington bought the Bonner Fruit Company, installed the most modern equipment and became the largest employer in town.
The mural is a tribute to the peach industry in North Hollywood, which shipped via the Chandler corridor as much as 1,200 tons of fruit per season to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, St. Louis and other Midwestern and Eastern cities.
The mural begins with the peach blossoms, signifying a bountiful future. A caterpillar looks out over the peach groves where harvesters are picking fruit, an indication of the metamorphosis to come. Next you see crates of peaches. Past the middle-point of the mural the caterpillar has transformed into a Monarch Butterfly with the body of a transport train. The monarch butterfly is the hardiest of butterflies proliferating across the United States. The butterfly flies out over a symbolic landscape of the North Hollywood Valley with tree-lined Lankershim Boulevard cutting diagonally across the groves of peaches. The ripe peach depicts the completion.
The mural is painted on the backside of the Royal Court Cookie Company. Susan added a woman carrying cinnamon roll cookies because the Cookie Company brought these scrumptous treats out every day while she worked.
This mural is one of twenty murals created by local artists to change a blighted area into a safe and usable bike path. Susan Krieg designed and painted three of the twently murals.