The Great Gatsby Mural on The Enterprise Building
We have all seen graffiti art and murals on the sides of businesses and abandoned buildings everywhere we go in cities across America, and most often the images we are seeing are of bold colors with themes that reflect the culture, pride, and history of the city or neighborhoods those buildings are located in.
For many of the artists who paint these murals, there is a sense of pride about being able to express their artistic talents in such a grand way; and for the community, it is appealing to see such craftsmanship that depicts their town’s richness of where they live, or are visiting.
Many studies have shown that when businesses display artistic expressions in murals on their buildings, they increase their profitability. And with the vast number of competitive businesses typically located in a central area, separating yourself and standing out from everyone else is a number one priority.
For many urban downtown centers that have been hit by economic downturns where many patrons left for the suburbs to do business or go to the malls and shopping, the importance of beautification of buildings through murals and art can be used to enhance architecture to create visually stunning environments.
The Enterprise Building has been working throughout the pandemic crisis of 2020 and 2021 towards a revitalized downtown San Bernardino as evidenced through the renovation work they have done in the historic building that was built back in 1927.
Going from a quarter business tenant occupancy to now being almost 100 % business tenant occupancy with a diverse group of business owners; to having holiday displays in the courtyard located to the building's south side, to several new murals recently painted on the north and south sides of the building, the managers understand that keeping a connection to community is essential, and one of the ways they have been doing that and bringing business and patrons back downtown is through events hosted at their 320 Premier Hall, and having outdoor events along with the art displays on the building.
'E Street Alley'
Alfredo Perez Salmeron was born in Oaxaca, Mexico and brought to the United States when he was two years old. He was raised in Santa Ana, California in a barrio where drugs, gang violence, and prostitution was prevalent. Growing up, Alfredo would often turn to drawing as a form of escape. His drawings were greatly inspired by the Lowrider Arte Magazine and by his mothers embroidery art.
"It is through my art, that I create a world of color. A world full of life. In every piece, I leave a fragment of myself. I am effortlessly able to express myself the moment I begin to mix hues. When I see something colorful it instantly brings joy to my soul, and that’s what I want to transmit to the world." - Alfredo Perez Salmeron
Darren Villegas’ ‘San Bernardino ~ Forever Strong’
I graduated from street artist to art activist, to art educator. Like many teenagers growing up in the Inland Empire who are seeking an alternative to gang violence, I became fascinated with creating graffiti art at the age of 15, eventually moving to San Francisco as an adult to pursue this passion. Over the next ten years, my graffiti art matured into spray-painted murals which were featured in several nationally published art magazines and video documentaries. As a college student, I began educating myself on artists who used their artwork for social change, inspiring me to incorporate a newfound level of consciousness into my artwork. I began using my artwork to support local activist campaigns and started teaching a youth-based mural art class for several non-profit organizations at local community centers. Many young people were eager to enroll as students in my classes since my prior graffiti art persona held a certain amount of urban art cache. I saw echoes of my youth in the eyes of these teenagers, and I decided to use my influence to steer their lives in a positive direction.
I embraced the role of not only an art teacher but a life mentor to many of my students. I began incorporating educational workshops into the mural art process, where students were educated about the issues affecting their lives. We would dialogue about these topics as a group, brainstorm images for a mural composition, then execute a community-involved mural. These murals would beautify communities, empower the youth with a sense of self-worth and civic responsibility, and decrease vandalism. After ten years of performing this uplifting form of art activism, I was awarded a Certificate of Honor in the Arts from the San Francisco Mayor’s office and Board of Supervisors. I moved back to Riverside 4 years ago, and I’m very happy to continue to spread my vibrant artwork throughout the streets of Southern California. I have a long-term personal goal of establishing an art scholarship fund for Inland Empire high school students to transfer to a university and pursue a career in the arts.
Pablo Azar is a Mexican-American actor and painter. He is very well known worldwide due to his successful acting career, both in the Latin as well as the American market.
To talk about Pablo Azar is to talk of creativity, profoundness and of course, an immense and limitless talent, which he has managed to combine through his great affinity for the performing and visual arts.
He is considered to be a pop surrealist artist who created a very unique painting style he named “Toonymania” in which he takes us on a fantastic journey beyond the evident. His main objective is to make us, the observer, gaze upon his artwork, losing ourselves in a timeless dimension where he invites us to discover what Pablo, himself, denotes as “his creatures”.
In perfect harmony, his multiple and diverse “creatures” fuse together creating one, bigger and complete picture.
My art makes no distinction of age. It brings out the inner child in you"
— Pablo Azar
Walk in Faith not in Fear (Acts 9)
Summerly Sanchez and her husband Albert Sanchez are the mural partner for 'Walk in Faith Not Fear'. Albert began painting murals in Sallisaw, OK and when the two got married, Summerly started painting murals with him.
They were both born and raised in San Bernardino, CA and went to high school together. When they graduated in 2009, Albert moved to Oklahoma, but they would later reconnect and get married. The couple later moved back to San Bernardino in 2019 to start a church named Eternl Life Church.
Summerly has a BA in Visual Communications and specializes in Graphic Design. She currently works at a non-profit organization Operation New Hope / http://onhcares.org/ and on Instagram: @onh_cares. Some of the staff and students of Operation New Hope assisted in painting the mural.
"My joy and specialty in life is using my creativity and gifts to teach others. I love to give other people opportunities that they might not have had and to bring out their gifts that are deep down inside. I love to experiment with different styles of art. I recently taught the students about abstract art and they drew self portraits in an abstract style.
My heart and soul belongs to San Bernardino and I have a genuine love for the community. We are a community of many gifts and talents and there are several people just needing someone to recognize and expose the gifts within. Through my job and our church I make it a point in doing my part of encouraging others through art. Sometimes we can get afraid to get out of our comfort zone but that is where we grow the most.
At the bottom of my design I put (Walk in Faith not in fear -Acts 9) I believe that is the best name for my design. My inspiration for my design came from the Welcome to San Bernardino sign. I put a twist on it and changed it to “Come to SB”. Everyone here calls San Bernardino SB . I emphasized the trees because one of my favorite things to see around here are the palm trees. I LOVE to see the mountains and that definitely had to be a part of the design. I also threw in some orange trees because when I was young I remember seeing so many orange trees, they are so beautiful. I put some creativity into the design by making the sun into an orange. I also made sure to make the road with cracks because that is something that stand out to people in our city. I wanted my design to be somewhat interactive and you can take a picture in front of it and it gives off the appearance that you are in the road of San Bernardino. I added some sketch style looking lines to add some character. What I hope that people get from my mural is memories of some of the beautiful scenery driving or walking in San Bernardino. I hope that my design brings some nostalgia to the community."
'The Shape Of Slaughter'
Arturo Orellana's 'The Shape of Slaughter' mural is a "mindset" piece that he holds the weight of the city on his shoulders. A native of San Bernardino, makes Arturo want to represent and as a Graffiti writer, Arturo says that the city and graffiti made him the artist he is today.
The Art in Community Events
One of the other aspects to the beautification and revitalization to downtown San Bernardino that The Enterprise Building and business tenants maintain is keeping the community engaged downtown.
As the state of California begins to open back up more and more, the managers at the building will sponsor more events like the one held on May 22nd called the Downtown San Bernardino BMX * Cruise * SK8 Rendezvous & Downtown Vendor Fest, held on the old Carousel Mall parking lot rooftop adjacent to The Enterprise Building.
There was a DJ, and BMX bikers, hot cars and food from downtown vendors for a family outing that keeps the community positive about the city's future while having fun at the same time.
"A month ago I saw a group of 30 BMX riders roll through downtown San Bernardino on E street playing music and having a good time. They came and went so fast I didn't get a chance to talk to any of the riders but with a glimpse of the ride I was inspired to find a way to create a ride out event with not only BMX bikers, but with roller skaters and skate boarders in the community as well.
Our parking structure has been empty for years and so it made for a perfect place to hold a vendor event and give those participating in the ride out a starting and return point.
Since I wasn't in a crew I reached out to Esteban Gonzalez of the BMX Beaners and together we created Route 66 BMX CRUISE SK8'' says Kristopher Gonzalez, President of the Civic Center Neighborhood Association, who is one of the business tenants at The Enterprise Building.
"To create the Community Vendor Fest, I teamed up with Lena of Rich Essentials and The Enterprise Building for what turned out to be a fun filled day for family and neighbors" Kristopher concluded.
Performing at the E Street Alley Walk / Parish Lantern - Jazz Duo
Parish Lantern is a new Inland Empire jazz duo with roots in both San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Upright bass player Johnny Bender and piano player Eric Starling love playing and listening to classic jazz music, America’s original musical artform. Their cool-jazz duo has entertained patrons everywhere from The Bordeaux Room in Temecula to the Moreno Valley Elks Lodge. The name Parish Lantern comes from an old English phrase for moonlight. You can enjoy their brand of musical moonlight elegance when they play the arts festival at San Bernardino’s Enterprise Building from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 5. The Enterprise Building is at 320 North E Street in downtown San Bernardino.
For more information, call 951-640-0343.
A Message From Ryan Stanly - Project Coordinator, To All Of The Artist
Over the past few months, you have impressively gone from creating a design to community voting and finally finished the product!
The idea for E Street Alley was born in June of last year, and I thank you for your participation and patience; to bring this project to fruition.
Your hard work and dedication have created something inspiring for downtown San Bernadino and will not go unnoticed and unappreciated, for we are now ready for regional attention.
Together, we have completed a 97-foot wall featuring six community murals, meaning as it stands, E Street Alley is home to now the longest continuous mural wall in historic downtown San Bernardino and possibly the entire city. [*NOTE: We will be adding another 6 feet to the wall which will be a "paint by numbers" mural where visitors can participate during the event on June 5th. It will be an expressive sign saying "E Street Alley." Thus, giving the community an opportunity to literally paint us over the edge (on the corner of the building) and to 103 feet.*]
Your interpretation of this great city is now on display for all to see and admire collectively, demonstrating that a project of this magnitude can be successfully completed!"
Other Related Articles About The Enterprise Building
- The Enterprise Building: Something Old, Something New
For anyone who grew up in the San Bernardino area, the staff at The Enterprise Building is harkening you back to a time when San Bernardino was fun for all to visit, to dine and to shop. The Downtown revitalization is proud to say, Downtown is on it’
Hall Of Shadows
- Hall Of Shadows
As we approach the Halloween season, and people are looking for perhaps a different experience to have fun for the eve of All Saints' Day, The Hall Of Shadows might be the perfect escape.