A new L.A. Kings mural was unveiled on Wednesday at Beach Cities Optometry on Highland Ave. in Manhattan Beach, with L.A. Kings representatives (and mascot Bailey) on hand.
At nearly 1,000 square feet in total size (480-500 sq. ft on each side), L.A. mural artist Gustavo Zermeno spent the past two weeks painting the mural, which seamlessly blends hockey and the beach together.
“The art piece is unmistakably and uniquely L.A. Kings meet 'The Beach',” said Robert "Dr. Rob" Stahl, owner of Beach Cities Optometry. “As a small tight-knit beach community, we feel Gustavo was able to incorporate significant elements of this area – iconic Manhattan Beach Pier and Roundhouse, volleyball, sandcastle, surfing, airplane with trailing banner – as well as seamlessly making the LA Kings brand and hockey the primary part of the piece including logos, jerseys, retired numbers and championship banners, goalie mask, sticks, and pucks.”
The mural represents an update and a refresh of a previous L.A. Kings mural created in 2019.
The new artwork - and the overall pro-Kings spirit of Manhattan Beach - was warmly received by members of the Kings family.
"A lot of our players are living here in Manhattan Beach, this is an area where we call home, and we feel like we're at home," said Daryl Evans, former Kings player and current color commentator for the Kings. "When we go out into community, into the restaurants, and things like that, it's like we're walking around in our own backyard - so we appreciate everybody making us feel at home here."
The mural also features what Stahl calls an "Instagrammable moment" on the South side, where the steps are painted as a surfboard with a barrel wave overhead. (There are other "Easter eggs" to be found throughout the mural, so if you go to see it, pay attention to the little details.)
At the unveiling, Manhattan Beach Mayor Steve Napolitano pointed out one corner of the mural that says "Manhattan Beach Kings."
"I love seeing this, where it says 'Manhattan Beach Kings.' If you guys want to change the name, we totally understand," quipped Napolitano, adding, "Most of the Kings live here in the South Bay, the majority live here in Manhattan Beach, and we love having them here."
Muralist Zermeno also expressed his appreciation for the warm reception he received while working on the mural.
"Everyone was super-welcoming," said Zermeno. "The way the community embraced me was really beautiful. I appreciate you guys, and thank you for trusting me to create some artwork here."
Stahl said that the Kings mural tradition is one that his practice hopes to continue for many years.
By: Jeanne Fratello
We have been lucky to have been chosen as a building the Kings have decided to place their iconic “Manhattan Beach Kings” mural.
In 2019, the Kings were looking for a wall to put up a mural in order to connect with the city of Manhattan Beach. Why Manhattan Beach? There has been a long time connection between former and current Kings players and staff because they have decided to live in a city to enjoy all that Manhattan Beach has to offer: the beach, the lifestyle, and the proximity to work. The Toyota Sports Performance Center and Crypto.com Arena are only a short drive from home. In addition, the Kings Care Foundation supports many causes that support local entities
The mural artwork has been a source of local pride as it promotes a collaboration of art, sport, and wellness. You can frequently see people stopping at the mural to take photos with the iconic images of longtime Kings’ players and Manhattan Beach residents Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar.
To read more about the LA Kings mural on Beach Cities Optometry, follow these local news articles: