For The Love of Art: Kalli Arte Returns to Roosevelt 

By:Gabriela Navarro 

After “Los Angeles Notebook” by Joan Didion 

There is something beautiful growing inside the Roosevelt gymnasium. There are two artists at work. It means that bold colors and lines are transforming everyday objects in the Latine community and the neighborhood faces into an expression of love. 

For a few weeks now, we have seen the strokes of a brush at work and hear the soft echoes of music playing. I have neither heard nor read that the murals revolutionized the way we see ourselves, but I know it, and almost everyone I have seen today knows it too. Boyle Heights knows it because Boyle Heights feels it.

From the outside looking in, the mural is expanding. It’s a diamond; it’s continuous. The mural focuses on the future of Roosevelt students through their embracement of each other’s diversity.

Students are repping their Roosevelt jerseys, their knowledge, and their power. 

The artist includes the founder of Espacio 1839 and his art of printing silk screening on shirts. The artist highlights his shirt, “gente si gentrify no” on one of the students’ shirts. Along with the quotes “Echale Ganas” and “Stand up Against Racism.” Reminding us of what we stand for in our community. 

Artists place their brushes down. Admire their work. Their names are Adriana Carranza and Alfonso Aceves. 

Boyle Heights natives Adriana Carranza and Alfonso Aceves met at Roosevelt in 1994 and fell in love. 

They became pregnant, and we were not able to graduate. Alfonso walked the stage but did not receive his diploma.

The couple has been together for 29 years and discovered art together. When they discovered art together, they understood their combined ideas were stronger together. 

“All our art stems from love. We’re very intentional with all our work … That passion that fire speaking out on issues about intention,” Adriana’s eyes lit up. 

The creative self-taught artists founded the Kalli Arte Collective. These artists find home or Kalli through the influences of their ancestral traditions, culture, environment, and social justice ideals. 

Their pride, presence, and roots are recognized. So is the representation of the students. 

“The students, as we are painting the mural. They be like that looks like you. Sometimes their laughing, but at the same time those are subconscious things that they take into their mind. They are saying it out loud. This is important to me because they are now seeing themselves reflected in this piece and that the whole concept of this piece. It’s about inspiration for them, it’s about that we recognize them.” Alfonso expresses, smiling. 

Art is a form of preserving the now and the future. Art is a vehicle for love, how do you show your love?

Check out the mural. If you, too, want to pick up a brush, check out the mural club on Fridays after school in R115.

All photos by East Side Media TV

Photos by East Side Media TV 

Photos by East Side Media TV

All Photos by East Side Media TV 

All Photos by East Side Media TV 


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