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Ribbon cutting to celebrate new mural decorating La Estrella

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A gathering on Thursday will celebrate the completion of a colorful new mural adorning a Lawrence restaurant and tienda mexicana.

Artists Javy Ortiz and Connie Fiorella Fitzpatrick, along with artist assistant Sydney Ruiz Krehbiel, designed and installed the mural.

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“The mural uses vibrant colors to represent and celebrate the rich Mexican gastronomy and cultures. A celebration of access to culturally specific foods,” according to the Instagram post announcing the event.

The owners of La Estrella, Raul and Adany Perez, are originally from Querétaro, Mexico. They opened La Estrella about 20 years ago in hopes of bringing Hispanic products to Lawrence’s growing Hispanic community, according to the store’s website.

The mural would not be possible without the support of the owners, family, restaurant and store workers, according to the post.

The ribbon cutting is set from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 at La Estrella, at 2323 Ridge Court in Lawrence.

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. Some of the other projects in the program have included a mural at F-Mart and a sculpture at Cosmos Indian Store and Cafe.

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.”

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