Art Share partnered with affordable housing developer Meta Housing to create a mural that would reflect the South L.A. community in which their newest development lived. Art Share connected with El_Mac, a public mural artist, to create images of two public figures that would amplify issues of poverty and lack of access to fresh foods that are central to the black and brown communities in the South LA region. The mural depicted Rigoberto Jimemez Oropeza is a farmer and workers’ rights activist with United Farm Workers who emigrated to Los Angeles and Ron Finley, an activist who creates urban farms fighting for the injustices around food and social issues.
“The choice of subjects came about partly in response to our current national (if not global) social and political climate, as well as a more local history of poverty and black-brown conflict in South Central Los Angeles. In these confusing times of demagoguery, racist scapegoating and social division, as wealth has been increasingly redistributed upward while the working poor are further disenfranchised, and organised labor has been largely weakened after decades of assault, I feel even more urgency to create conscientious and relatable public art that elevates common working people and promotes ideals of compassion, unity, equity, and interracial solidarity. I would like to think of these murals as contributing to a proud tradition of humanism and social realist art that promotes the importance and dignity of all ordinary working people.” El Mac
The result is a 7,200 sq.ft. mural on the corner of a transit hub at Washington Street and San Pedro Street. The mural is visible to thousands who commute past it everyday and can be seen from the 10 freeway which sees thousands more each day.
About Creative Careers:
The Creative Careers program connects community-impacting, fair-waged art jobs with emerging and/or experienced artists, adding to the local creative economy and assisting artists on their path towards a career in the creative industries.
About the Artists
EL MAC is an internationally renowned artist born and based in Los Angeles. He began painting both smaller indoor works as well as public murals and graffiti in Phoenix in the mid 1990s, and since that time has developed his unique visual aesthetic and rendering style which utilizes repeating contour patterns. His work draws on influences from classical European art, social realism, symbolism and devotional art, as well as the Chicano and Mexican culture he grew up around. He is best known for his meticulous paintings and large-scale murals exploring feminine beauty and honoring ordinary, overlooked, or marginalized people.
Exhibition: Spring Benefit and Art Auction, Street Schooled