The small, single-story building at 2914 1st Avenue North, boasts several murals.
On the front, facing 1st Avenue North, are four brightly colored panels with red, gold, purple and green cartoon figures that seem like characters drawn from Central American mythology. But Artist Ali Vasquez created the figures from her own imagination.
Her mural is bold and cheerful, 52 feet wide by 13 feet high, and all four figures are dancing. The Cat Lady on the left is playful. She wears a Zorro mask, with blue ears and blue leaves on her flouncy red and gold skirt. Her panel is dark purple and magenta, framed in red that’s patterned in black geometric symbols.
On her right is a gold panel sporting a Fish Lady with big red lips puckered-up for a kiss, and blue made-up eyes with curly lashes. Her gold fins are splayed out, with green polka dots. She’s wearing a red and green shirt and a blue striped skirt.
The Fish Lady’s fins and her wild Carmen Miranda-style hat are made of wavy blue and green leaves, like the leaves on the Cat Lady’s skirt.
Beside her is a gold panel framed in purple, and a cartoon lady with fluttery eyelashes, blue-green hair and bird feet. The blue of her hair matches her dress, which has crimson stripes on the skirt.
On the far right is a red panel framed in green, with a dancing dark-skinned man in rainbow clothing and a flowing rainbow cape. He’s wearing purple wraparound shades, with a bright pink nose and wavy green hair made of the same leaves seen on the Fish Lady’s hat and the Cat Lady’s skirt.
His overlong arms are bent like a cartoon, to form two squares, echoing the geometric patterns that frame each panel. Green leaves dangle from his elbows, purple and orange diamonds dance around his legs.
This whole mural is a blast of joyful color and movement. Artist Ali Vasquez was a student at Creative Clay when she painted it, assisted by her teacher, Todd Frain.
Ali Vasquez is originally from Los Angeles, with strong ties to her El Salvadorian heritage. Ali studied at Creative Clay, where her colorful designs were featured in collective art shows. Her first solo art show was in 2015 at Strands Of Sunshine on Central Ave.
Todd Frain is a visual and tattoo artist and teaching artist at Creative Clay. His work has been showcased in exhibits at Blue Lucy, The Bends, Black Amethyst and more.
Creative Clay is an organization that provides educational, expressive and vocational opportunities in the arts for people with obstacles to arts access. They serve people with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities, as well as people in healthcare settings, children, veterans, and provide outreach art experiences in our community. This mural was sponsored by Hal Freedman and Willi Rudowsky.
Around the corner on the east wall is a peaceful night scene painted by ZuluPainter.