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  • CRA/LA’S commitment to public art began over 40 years ago.
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 \\Commonspot\internet-site\images\bullet1 Art Projects

Artis Lane
Arnett L. Hartsfield, Jr.

Project Area:  Central Industrial
Project:  African American Firefighter Museum Tribute
Project Location:  1401 S. Central Avenue
Project Type:  CRA/LA Initiated


The California Artist Coalition of Los Angeles (CACLA), a local non-profit organization, worked with the African American Firefighter Museum (AAFM) to develop a public art program for museum.  AAFM was once the home of Fire Station #30, one of two segregated fire stations in Los Angeles between 1924 and 1955, and was designated by the City of Los Angeles as Historic-Cultural Monument #289.

As part of their planned art program, they sought to honor Arnett L. Hartsfield, Jr., a local black firefighter, who was at the forefront of integrating fire stations in the 1950s.  With funding assistance from the CRA/LA, CACLA contracted with renowned artist Artis Lane to create a statuary bust of Hartsfiled.  Lane’s bronze bust captures Hartsfield’s strength and perseverance.  This statue is located in AAFM’s interior courtyard, where the public can learn and be inspired by his accomplishments.  Hartsfield currently serves as AAFM’s historian, volunteering his time to help educate the public on this important part of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s history. 

The unveiling of this statue on June 14, 2011 coincided with Arnett Hartsfield’s 93rd birthday.

The inscription on the plaque reads:

Born in 1918, in Bellingham, Washington.  Served as a Firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department from 1940-1961.  Affectionately called "The Rookie" by the men who worked with him here at Fire Station #30.  He is also known as the historian, griot, and leader of the integration of African American Firefighters in Los Angeles during the mid 1950's.

This bronze bust is dedicated to Arnett L. Hartsfield for the contributions he has made to make the fire service a better place for all.

Artis Lane's Arnett L. Hartsfield, Jr.
Close-up of Artis Lane's Arnett L. Hartsfield, Jr.

Artist Profile

Artis Lane was born in North Buxton, Ontario, Canada.  After studying three years at an art college in Toronto, Canada, she furthered her training at the Cranbrooke Art Academy in Detroit and at UCLA in Los Angeles.  Artis Lane explores social justice and metaphysical issues through many of her paintings and sculptural works.  Since the 1960’s, Lane has gained prominence for her portraits of dignitaries which have included Jacqueline Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey, and most recently President Barak Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.  In 1999, she was selected to design the Congressional Medal of Honor that was awarded to Rosa Parks.  Her works can be found in numerous public collections including the California African American Museum, Los Angeles and the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC.  In 2007, Lane was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award by the California African American Museum which also exhibited the first retrospective of her artwork.  Artis Lane lives and works in Los Angeles.