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Memorial Planned for Muralist David Legaspi

Artist David Legaspi is best known in Malibu, Santa Monica and the San Fernando Valley for his school murals, but he also painted a mural in Venice that depicts Windward Circle circa 1913.

A celebration of life service to honor the late artist David Legaspi III will be held in Santa Monica next week to remember the muralist whose numerous works include a well known Venice mural.

The service is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 27 at Barnum Hall on the .

Legaspi was found dead on June 5. It is believed he passed away from natural causes, most likely a probable heart attack due to a pre-existing heart condition, according to a family spokesperson.

A memorial page has been set up on Facebook.

Legaspi was well-known in the Malibu community, as well as in Santa Monica and the San Fernando Valley communities, for the hundreds of murals he created,

In 2003, Legaspi also created "Remembering Venice 1913" on a building at the corner of Main and Market streets in Venice near the Windward Circle. The online newsletter "Venice Vanguard" wrote that building owner Anna Moyseyev opened up the Oceanview Adult Day Health Care Center and wanted a mural on its long walls that recalled when Market Street was Alderbaran Canal.

Moyseyev knew of Legaspi's murals at Westside schools and approached him with the idea, which he liked.

"I like murals that have a meaning to them," Legaspi told the Venice Vanguard. "They can have historical, social and educational themes. It's historical and social with senior citizens."
 
Legaspi researched photographs and postcards of Venice in 1913 and included images of Venice founder Abbot Kinney, silent screen star Charlie Chaplin and the comedy duo of Laurel and Hardy. He told the Venice Vanguard that Moyseyev's parents were featured in the main door and that neighborhood dogs such as "Toby" the Rottweiler, "Drew" the bulldog and "Rita" the mutt were included in the mural.

"People wanted me to put their dogs in the mural," he told the Venice Vanguard.
 
Born in the Philippines, Legaspi was the oldest of five siblings. He received his B.S. Degree in Architecture from the University of St. Thomas, Philippines and then worked as an architect, visual designer, merchandiser, and publicity artist for the U.S. Army & Air Force Exchange Service at Clark Air Force Base, Philippines, and the Royal AirForce, Upper Heyford, England.

In 1993, he became a full-time freelance artist and muralist, first in Sydney, Australia and then in Los Angeles. He returned to architecture at the CBMG Management Group in Santa Monica from 1999 to 2002.

Legaspi considered painting murals with and for children, whom he called his "Little Artists," his life's calling.

Legaspi did not charge for his mural services at his public projects. He most often paid for mural materials as well. He used funds from his private commissions to pay for his public projects.

Phil Cott, principal of Malibu’s Webster Elementary School, where Lesgaspi painted his first school mural, said Legaspi was a great friend and patron to .

“David was the single most generous and prolific contributor to our school in my 20 years at Webster, and literally transformed our environment,” Cott said.

David is survived by his siblings, Dodie, Marileth, Denn, and Malou, his parents, Letty Legaspi and David Legaspi Jr. from Sydney, Australia, nephews, nieces, cousins and other extended family who live in the Philippines, Australia, and United States.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: David Legaspi III Memorial Fund, PO Box 2863, Malibu, CA 90265.  Visit his Facebook page at David Legaspi III Memorial Page.

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