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Weightlifting Strawberries in South L.A. Promote Healthy Eating

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A new mural with a health message has made South Los Angeles a bit more animated.

Andre Miripolsky's Fruit and Veggies community mural project, completed with assistance by Wallis Annenberg Charter High School art students, sits along a 7 foot by 150 foot section of a new Superior Market. A high gloss graffiti coating adds a vivid sheen to the final piece, which faces Compton at the corner of 74th Street.

"The theme that was given me was 'eating fruits and vegetables is a healthy way of staying fit'," said Miripolsky in August during the planning stages of the community mural. He is the artist behind the Downtown Los Angeles "Cityscape" sculpture, which also became a temporary 15 X 50 mural at Pershing Square's southern edge, plus his series of "VIVA LA" works.

Being Los Angeles, even a cheerful piece with weightlifting strawberries and carrots carries the burden of social-political subtext. District 9 Councilwoman Jan Perry enabled the mural to happen in South Los Angeles by lobbying the independently-owned chain to consider a location in the fresh-food-starved neighborhood. That supports her broader campaign for projects that promote nutrition, and places the topic of health in a category of subjects sometimes unattainable in the inner-city. Here, an awareness of encouraging specific purchases are made by this site-specific work.

That aside, the bright mural speaks to a section of town with growing Latino families demographic had instant testimonial. Each time a mother walks past the mural, children attempt to slow down and take a closer look.

Miripolsky I Photo by Ed Fuentes
Miripolsky I Photo by Ed Fuentes
Miripolsky I Photo by Ed Fuentes
Miripolsky I Photo by Ed Fuentes
Video of mural installation by LaurelCanyonPost