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Cody Lusby: Transforming Long Beach Through Art and Community

By Matt Valerio

Cody Lusby has been making a profound impact on the streets of Long Beach since settling here in 2010 with his then-girlfriend, now wife. Lusby has immersed himself in the local art scene, driven by a passion for community building and visual storytelling.

Contemporary visual artist Cody Lusby alongside several of his works.

Cody’s journey into the arts began early. In first grade, he found his artistic spark when a colored pencil drawing he did of George Washington was featured in a traveling art show, extending his reach to a nation-wide audience. But it wasn’t just the accolades that motivated him; becoming a father in 2016 sparked a desire to leave a positive mark on the place where he’d raise his child. This personal milestone coincided with his involvement in the “Roses for Rose Park” mural project, which transformed a Long Beach historical district with vibrant, large-scale art painted with the assistance of many of Cody’s friends and local residents. This project was a turning point, showcasing Cody’s ability to include local talents to create visual landmarks that celebrate communal identity.

Lusby’s work goes beyond traditional canvases, embracing streets and neighborhoods as platforms for dialogue and connection. Through his murals, Cody not only beautifies spaces but also fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie among residents as they participate in the artistic process.

In addition, Cody builds non-square, geometric wood panels, a technique inspired by minimalist artist Tony Delap, emphasizing that the shape of the canvas can be as impactful as the image it bears. This approach mirrors his belief in art’s potential to challenge and redefine perspectives. The presence of butterflies in his artwork, from the “Goodbye Butterfly” series, illustrates this as well. These butterflies, symbols of anxiety’s release, are depicted in a transformative moment of exhale, turning a common symbol of nervousness into one of liberation.

As of this writing, Cody, staying true to his commitment to community, is focusing his efforts on a fundraiser exhibit to benefit Liz Garibaldi and Artos Saucedo, owners of the local art space/home, Open Gallery, which was tragically destroyed back in February when not one, but two, drunk drivers crashed their vehicles into the building, narrowly missing Garibaldi, Saucedo, and their teenage son. Proceeds from the show will go toward rebuilding the space and helping the family get back on their feet.

Cody’s art projects serve a dual purpose: restoring the city’s physical landscape and fostering a resurgence of hope and artistic expression among the people of Long Beach.

View more of Cody’s work at 


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