May 31 2016 03:32 PM

Tracking down the stories behind unique neighborhood murals

Maribel Siman-Delucca, Claudio Delucca and Guillermo Ramirez in front of “Un Día de Mercado.”
Photo by Seth Combs

A new, semi-monthly feature where we track down the stories behind San Diego's most colorful murals.

To hear her tell it, Maribel Siman Delucca has always wanted a mural on the side of the building that includes Back from Tomboctou, the Normal Heights folk art store Delucca has run with her husband, Claudio, since 1983. So when a neighboring key-making business was closed and torn down, she says the resulting wall space was ripe for creativity.

"This wall was calling us," says Delucca, pointing to the now completed "Un DÌa de Mercado" mural that features scenes from marketplaces commonly found in Mexico and Central America. "This is called having limited resources. I started talking about it with different artists and friends and so I started putting together ideas. Bits of ideas and made a rough outline."

With help from the Adams Avenue Business Association, Delucca's outline soon became a community project. Montreal via El Salvador artist Luis Cortez-Santiago helped with the final drawing and local artists and neighbors, including local folk artist Guillermo Ramirez, helped paint the mural. It includes items and homages to various countries, such as Guatemalan bags and textiles, Brazilian cartoon characters and Mexican guitars. Multicultural as the mural is, Delucca says there is one element in it that is universal to all countries.

"Of course the sleeping dog and the kid can be found in any mercado," Delucca says, laughing. "Always the sleeping dog. The one you almost always accidentally step on."

Have a mural in your neighborhood yould like to know more about? Leave us a comment on this story or on Facebook and we'll see what we can find out.


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