Artist: Michael De Medina
Location: Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway
Installation Date: October 2015
A life-size bronze statue of Palmdale’s first mayor, Larry Chimbole, was unveiled on October 8, 2015 in Poncitlán Square by the Local Legends Committee, a grassroots group of Antelope Valley residents. The group spent 18 months campaigning to raise funds and engage local craftsmen for the project. The statue was relocated to the lobby of the Chimbole Cultural Center in 2017.
About Larry Chimbole
One of the '50 Grand Men' who helped incorporate the City of Palmdale, Larry Chimbole also served in World War II, was the City’s first mayor, and represented the Antelope Valley as a State Assemblyman. Sadly, Chimbole passed away on November 10, 2015 at the age of 96.
Funding for the Statue
Funding for the statue came from donations of family, friends and citizens. The Local Legends Committee hosted a birthday party in May 2014 to celebrate Chimbole’s 95th birthday and raise funds for the statue. Additional funds were raised through the '50 Grand Friends' campaign, a takeoff on the original 50 Grand Men who each donated $1,000 to help incorporate the City of Palmdale in 1962.
Antelope Valley resident and artist David Arroyo sketched the concept drawing of The First Mayor. Sculptor Michael DeMedina created the statue. Steel fabricator Tony Murachanian created the steel bench upon which the statue sits, and powder coater John Perez colored the bench green to match the existing color theme of Poncitlán Square.
About the Artist
As a sculptor, Michael De Medina has created countless works as a commissioned artist, ranging from the movie Ghostbusters to works for Michael Jackson. De Medina also works as a silversmith and oil painter.
Local Legends Committee
The Committee’s goal is to create a series of statues to honor Palmdale’s movers and shakers. The committee members for this piece were Anne Ambrose, Ingrid Chapman, Dave Childs, Judy Cooperberg, Sandy Corrales-Eneix, Dayle DeBry, Vicki Medina, Stacia Nemeth, Patricia Shaw, and Chris Spicher.