Several months ago, Mexico-based beer company Estrella Jalisco decided to spend $1 million by 2025 to bring colorful art in all forms to walls throughout the United States.
Partnering with Beautify Earth, Estrella Jalisco started its first Artists-in-Residence program with nine bright and bold artists from across the country to paint vibrant murals over blank walls in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and El Paso. Each mural features a “Local Star,” a person who is making a positive impact in his or her way.
Echo Park’s Cecilia Romero painted South Los Angeles native Starr Greenfield at 7400 S. Western Avenue.
Romero heard about the Artists-in-Residence program through Beautify Earth and was honored to be chosen.
Painting “since she was in diapers,” Romero was excited to memorialize such a positive person. For her part, Greenfield was nominated by her co-worker at county of Los Angeles, Misty Wynne, for running her “personal ministry,” Favor Fridays, which provides monthly meals and hygiene kits to homeless communities.
Greenfield is working on incorporating her personal ministry.
“Everything I do is solely on me and my sponsors or my donors that help me and fulfilling the different items that I need on a monthly basis,” Greenfield said.
After one meeting over Zoom, Romero started conceptualizing how she wanted portray Starr.
“I was super inspired to portray a portrait of her beautiful loving energy and shining a light on that,” Romero said. “Automatically I knew I wanted to throw in butterflies in the portrait to complement and represent the beautiful transformation that she’s creating with her community. Because she’s an LA native, I knew I wanted to throw in the skyline in there.”
Everything came together after that. Romero accepted Estrella Jalisco’s request to include vibrant colors, which Greenfield enjoys.
While Romero was creating the mural, passers-by watched the portrait come to life.
“Each color that went on the wall, people were talking and cheering me on,” Romero said. “Just as the mural was progressing, I bared witness to just how much this uplifted the whole area.”
The two women hit it off right away when they met after the mural was completed.
“It was still extra special because she came to see the mural on the last day of painting right after I finished,” Romero said. “That was just such a special moment, seeing her and meeting her in real life after I painted her a beautiful portrait.”
Greenfield said she felt the mural is a “good depiction of who I am and the community I serve.”
“It shows the whole city in the background. It also, to me, represents the support that I get to make Favor Fridays even bigger each month. I love the whole thing.”
Greenfield created Favor Fridays because God helped her daily.
“I started it because I’ve always wanted to volunteer at a nonprofit. I just never really knew how to go about it,” Greenfield said. “Because I never really followed through with figuring out how to go volunteer at an actual organization, I just created my own platform.”
After completing her master’s degree in public administration, she tapped into the idea of using her idle time to help give back to the community.
Once a month, Greenfield collects donations through social media and the community to help purchase food and hygiene supplies before packing them up and delivering them to the homeless.
“I’ll sometimes cook spaghetti because that goes a long way to feed more than, I’ll say, 100 to 200 individuals, if not more,” Greenfield said. “Other than that, I buy pizza or McDonald’s cheeseburgers or something like that to give out to them as I give them their hygiene bags as well.”
Starr accepts monetary or product (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap or wipes) donations through her Instagram @FavorFridays.
Starr is honored to be “recognized in a way that usually you’re not recognizing until you pass away.”
“For me to have the mural and to be alive to witness, it represents not only for myself, but for my community,” Greenfield said. “I think it just gives us all something to be proud of and to know that we’re making changes and we’re supporting our community as we should.”
Romero echoes that sentiment.
“Murals are so vital to us in society and humans just naturally healing by the color,” she said. “I think anywhere any of these beautiful colorful murals are going up all over across the country, it’s just going to create this beautiful positive impact wherever they go up.”
Both women were honored to be part of this program and are overjoyed to bring color and positivity to the community through Estrella Jalisco.
“Now more than ever we need art, and we need public art for everyone to see and enjoy and to spread that positive healing impact through mural art,” Romero said. “It’s really powerful.”