Best Public Art Orange County 2012 - Millard Sheets Murals
Earlier this year, the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana ran a small, tantalizing exhibit on the Home Savings and Loan murals painted by Millard Sheets at the request of Newport Beach-based tycoon Howard F. Ahmanson. Many of them still stand in Orange County, even as that bank turned into Washington Mutual, then dissolved into Chase Bank. And even as Chase shuts down branches of the old WaMu, it's committed to keeping those featuring Sheets' masterpieces of civic nostalgia. The best one is the panorama depicting Anaheim history at the branch on Lincoln Avenue and Harbor Boulevards, a reminder of a time when banks cared about communities instead of bleeding them dry.