F-Mart Asian Market will celebrate the completion of a new mural on the side of its building, called “Cloudy With A Chance of Boba,” with a ribbon-cutting on Saturday.
The mural is part of the People’s Markets Program, in which culture-specific food retailers are paired with artists to create public artwork at each location.
It’s a “pilot program ignited by local food policy and research to support equitable food systems via culture sharing and the arts,” according to the Kansas Department of Commerce website. “… With the support of the Kansas Healthy Food Initiative, retail owners are provided with economic development training and marketing assistance to further build towards food systems equity.”
For F-Mart’s mural, “The artist team surveyed people in the community on their favorite East Asian food/dishes through physical flyers and surveys through social media,” according to an Instagram post about the project. “With the data collected, the mural design includes Easter eggs of the community’s favorite East Asian foods and ingredients playfully set in the Lawrence landscape.”
Lead artist Emmi Murao said in the post that she wanted the colors and theme to be happy and cheerful, with icons and elements working with each other and coexisting.
“I believe grocery stores like F Mart are important for immigrants to feel at home in an unfamiliar place through food and community,” she said. “It’s also an accessible place for people to explore and learn about cultures they did not grow up in. I hope F Mart will be a place for East Asian people and allies to meet, learn and connect through food and culture.”
The ribbon-cutting for “Cloudy With A Chance of Boba” will be from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at F-Mart Asian Market, 530 Colorado St. in Lawrence.
Other retailers participating in the People’s Markets Program include African Caribbean Grocery, Mediterranean Market & Cafe, La Estrella Tienda Mexicana and Cosmos Indian Store & Cafe.