Project ‘COVID Cover-up’ brightens boarded-up businesses

The Arts Council for Long Beach commissioned local artists to paint over boarded-up businesses along Broadway and Fourth Street’s Retro Row as part of their “Keep Arts Working” initiative. The project, “COVID Cover-up” featured artists from Long Beach and Los Angeles who were asked to paint inspiring images that lift up the community.

“This is a project of love, not just for our community but for each other,” said Judy Estrada, Marketing & Grants Associate at Arts Council for Long Beach.

On Broadway, artist Nuria Ortiz who works under the moniker Ms. Yellow (@msyellowart) painted bar The Brit and Park’s Antiques on Retro Row. The Falcon on Broadway was painted by Lawrence Limtao, known artistically as Spank Grip (@spankgrip). Los Angeles artist Corie Mattie (@coriemattie) painted Sweetwater Saloon and artist Ten 88 (@_10_88_) transformed The Mineshaft.

Artists Vlad (@whosvlad) and Alepsis (@aplepsis.h) tag-teamed furniture business Xscape, while husband and wife Erick Guadarrama (@sparc_eg) and Benedetta Chan (@berriesweet) painted Retro Row’s gastropub, The Social List.

There is a total of 10 artists involved the project. The mural on Broadway Bar by artist Duncan Ewington (@ewingram) and Getta Grip artist, Damian Hurtado (@gettagrip) on Black Bar are still in progress.

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Cheantay Jensen is reporter and award-winning videographer who covers entertainment, art, food and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post. And sometimes breaking news, you know, just to keep things interesting.