Los Angeles

Kent Twitchell is an extraordinary American artist and California State University, Los Angeles alumnus whose murals have beautified Los Angeles and cities across the nation. Towering from buildings, staring out from freeway walls, Mr. Twitchell’s art occupies and transforms public spaces. Over a long career, he has created more than 100 portraits within 30 grand scale murals. People who may never visit a gallery or a museum have had an opportunity to enjoy art through Mr. Twitchell’s work.

A master of portraiture in its purest form, Mr. Twitchell’s subjects range from the well-known to the unknown.  He has created murals of Steve McQueen, Michael Jackson, Ed Ruscha, Julius Erving—and the iconic bride and groom who for decades have resided on the side of what was once a bridal shop in downtown Los Angeles.  Often his work depicts a lone figure looking directly at the observer.

Mr. Twitchell was born in Michigan. He served in the United States Air Force as an illustrator and moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s to study art at East Los Angeles College. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Los Angeles in 1972 and a Master of Fine Arts from Otis College of Art and Design in 1977.  For more than five decades, Mr. Twitchell has lived in Los Angeles, which is home to more than a dozen of his murals. The Los Angeles Times wrote of Mr. Twitchell: “The city shaped him as much as he shaped its urban landscape.”

Mr. Twitchell’s work has been collected by the Smithsonian, the Chicago Art Institute, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

In recognition of his distinguished career, his contributions to the beauty of urban landscapes, and his role as an advocate for public art, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Los Angeles are proud to confer upon Kent Twitchell the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.