Artists working on the northeast corner of 24th and Capp Streets are readying themselves for a Sunday unveiling of the Mission’s newest mural – an expansive, two-story piece depicting some of the victims of police and immigration violence. It is dedicated to Amilcar Perez-Lopez, a Guatemalan immigrant who was shot by police.
Titled Alto al Fuego en La Misón (Ceasefire in the Mission), the project was spearheaded by Justice4Amilcar Coalition and Homies Organizing the Mission to Empower Youth (HOMEY), a youth organization with Carla Wojczuk facilitating the project. The mural takes up the southern side of Calle 24’s headquarters at 3250 24th St. Mission Housing also sponsored the project.
Grants from the San Francisco Rapid Response Fund, Communities in Harmony Advocating for Learning and Kids, and private donations have paid a half dozen prolific artists to work on the project, including Flavia Elisa Mora, Cristian Muñoz, Pancho Pescador, Annalisa Escobedo, Adrianna Adams, Sonia G. Molina, Lucia Ippolito and Carla Wojcuk.
“We had scissor lifts across the street and were projecting the image on here and drawing the outlines,” said Ippolito, who was given the task of painting the portrait of Amilcar Perez-Lopez, who police shot to death on Feb. 26, 2015.
“Sometimes you can grid, but this was faster.”
Initially, the team expected it would take three months to finish the mural, but because of budgetary constraints, they’re now targeting a Nov. 15 finish date. The biggest obstacles have been the warm temperatures and making sure they have enough paint, Ippolito said.
One section has roses and tapestry that blend together to lead into an altar-like section called a retablo. It includes the portrait of Perez-Lopez with a set of hands held up against firearms pointed towards him. The guns are standard-issue police weapons used by the San Francisco Police Department. The retablo’s frame includes drawings of some of the tools and equipment Perez-Lopez used as a general contractor. It’s a recreation from Juana Alicia’s mural Alto Al Fuego.
Another section has votive candles, with each label portraying another figure, many of them victims of police violence, including Luis Gongora Pat and Jesus Delgado Duarte.
The last section has candles with the faces of Mario Woods and Alex Nieto, also shot by police.
The candles sit on top of a floral tapestry. At the end of the tapestry is a retablo with a recreation of a photograph of Perez-Lopez’s family in Guatemala. In it, his family holds a poster written in Spanish that demands transparency in the police investigation.
“The Perez-Lopez family demands that the investigation into the assassination of our son, killed on 26/02/15 by police in San Francisco, CA, of Amilcar Perez be clear and transparent!” the poster says in Spanish.
Annalisa Escobedo had the task of painting all of the flowers on the project — a huge task, considering that the altar-like design has flowers adorning the length of the building.
She first heard of the mural project two years ago when it was originally set to be on a building on Folsom Street. Since then, the project grew in size and migrated several blocks west.
Calle 24 is a Mission non-profit that has successfully worked with City Hall to designate 24th Street and nearby corridors as a Latino Cultural District.
Ippolito said that the unveiling party is on Nov. 17 and goes from 12 to 4 p.m. and will be in the parking lot across the street from the mural.
“We’re going to have lowriders, it’s going to be cool,” she said.