Artist David Legaspi, Culver City Middle School Muralist, Dies

The Australian is known for his murals at schools throughout the Westside, including one he did as part of a CCMS beautification project together with Sony Pictures in 2011.

Plans are in the works to honor Australian artist David Legaspi, who painted a mural at in April 2011, featuring the butterfly and frog cycles and butterfly-attracting plants and other wildlife.

The mural was inspired by the school's butterfly garden, and Legaspi worked on the project with volunteers from and TreePeople, as part of an Earth Day project for the school.

"I am proud to be a part of this project with Sony Pictures," Legaspi told Bloomberg News last year. "My work is often influenced by nature, and this installation provided a perfect opportunity to celebrate the incredible garden at CCMS."

Legaspi died recently, but details about his death were not immediately available. Word leaked out of his death over email Sunday, as parents and supporters of John L. Webster Elementary School in Malibu began to discuss ways to honor the artist.

Webster's principal, Phil Cott, said Legaspi's death is a terrible loss to the Malibu and Santa Monica communities.

“Our whole campus is covered with beautiful murals that he did alone and large areas of murals that he did with every student at our school at that time and with parents,” Cott said.

The artist's work is not only at Culver City Middle School and Webster Elementary. He also did murals at other schools in SMMUSD, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the cities of Malibu and Santa Monica, private and public schools in the valley, South Bay schools, nonprofits such as the State PTA, as well as private commissions.

In 2003, Legaspi painted the "Remembering Venice 1913" mural at Main and Market streets in Venice near Windward Circle.

The Culver City Middle School mural was officially dedicated on June 2, 2011.

At the time, CCMS Principal Jon Pearson said, "The mural beautifully captures the essence and spirit of our diverse student population and is gift that will last for generations of students to come."

Pearson told Culver City Patch Monday he hadn't heard of Legasi's passing, but said, "It was an amazing experience for our students to be able to participate [with him in creating the mural]. He was extremely patient and truly taught our students the process of creating a mural. The joy on their faces while working and then after the finished product was revealed was priceless. We were so very fortunate that he was able to give of his time and talent."


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