Watts Towers Art Center faces privatization

The Watts Towers art installation is the largest single entity ever built by one man.

Simon Rodia, an Italian immigrant, started building the towers in 1921. He spent 33 years constructing a giant mosaic structure built of seashells, broken bottles, ceramic pottery and tiles, a rare piece of hand painted Canton ware and numerous pieces of 20th century American ceramics.

The towers have become a symbol of Watts’ community and culture.

The City of Los Angeles placed the Watts Towers Art Center on a list for privatization, due to major budget cut backs, said James Janisse, an employee of the Watts Towers Art Center. The Watts Towers Art Center petitioned the city to remain a public domain.

The art center has been removed from the list of privatization for one fiscal year said Rosie Lee Hooks, the director of the Watts Towers Art Center, in a recent article by Our Weekly.

In this slideshow, Janisse speaks about the purpose of their petition and the importance of the Watts Towers Arts Center to the South Los Angeles community.