If you travel by the corner of Maclay Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard, you probably noticed something new this week.
On the wall of the 7-Eleven store, a mural appeared over the weekend. An eye popping, multi-colored palm tree on the right hand side against a dark blue colored background.
The mural is the work of DJ and music producer Chris Canelo and artist Cyrus (Cyrus the Vyrus) Howlett.
“We found each other on the Internet. We got together and painted it,” Canelo said.
Cyrus created the colorful palm tree, which is a signature of his work that often features a single, simple image with lots of vibrant color placed against a blank backdrop.
The multi colors inside the palm tree he explains represents “unity”. The tree itself has to reflect the local environment and the skateboard culture — the artist has an affinity for both. Palm trees line the main Brand corridor in the city of San Fernando.
“Chris had the idea and the vision of putting up a mural as he was walking down the street,” Howlett said. “He wanted to bring art to the community. The surrounding communities have been doing it a lot; we were just trying to bring that to San Fernando.”
But what the artists, business or property owner may have not taken into account is the he City of San Fernando does not allow murals on residential or commercials buildings without first getting a conditional use permit and approval from the city’s planning commission. Interim City Manager Nick Kimball said San Fernando officials have made contact with the property owner where the 7-Eleven is located to try and resolve the matter.
The City of San Fernando does have a large mural that is a central component of the city’s Cesar Chavez memorial, unlike other Latino communities where murals are part of the landscape, they aren’t as commonplace. .
Pacoima, has several large sized murals along Van Nuys Boulevard, from Glenoaks Boulevard to Laurel Canyon Boulevard. It’s been called the “Mural Mile,” and has put Pacoima on the artistic map.
Canelo said that when he got the idea, he spoke to people at the 7-Eleven and received permission. They went to work quickly and were painting by Friday, May 19. It took Canelo and Howlett a day and two evenings to complete the work.
“We decided to do something simple that would be easy to maintain,” Canelo noted.And maintenance is something they may have to do often. The mural was already tagged by Sunday. They cleaned it by Monday, but it was tagged again by Tuesday.
“We have 10 more gallons of blue paint,” Canelo said.
“There’s no way of stopping it,” Howlett said of the graffiti. “You just have to enjoy it (the mural) while you can.”They’s like to keep going and would like to create other murals.
“We’re talking to other landlords and are waiting to get confirmation,” Canelo said.
To follow the work of these artists, check their Instagram at @_Chris_Canelo and @Cyrus_the_vyrus.