“I always thought it would be nice if we had murals in the community,” Eva Vargas said Wednesday afternoon outside the Gonzalez Northgate Market in Shelltown, one of San Diego’s southernmost neighborhoods on the border with National City. “They’re usually done by graffiti, but we’re trying to move away from that.”
The neighborhood resident and community activist was appreciating a new 300-foot mural on a wall bordering a vacant lot across the street. For months, Vargas has been working with city officials, artists, and private property owners to get the mural in place on a wall that has been plagued by graffiti that residents have had to repaint again and again.
The mural was one of three — by several artists — unveiled in Shelltown today, on walls at three main neighborhood entrances. Local activist and muralist Mario Torero was the lead artist for the Alpha Street piece. He draws his philosophy on community art from the Spanish word, “Basta,” which means “Enough.”