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Powell grocery store sponsors "Mexican Gothic" mural

RITA A. LEONARD - This new mural, Te Otro Gothica, adorns - and also attracts customers to - a Mexican grocery store at 6611 S.E. Powell Boulevard. A unique mural has been painted on the south wall of Tienda El Campesino Mexican Grocery at 6611 S.E. Powell Boulevard.

The 12x20-foot-long expanse is called “Te Otro Gothica”, and features a subtle reference to Grant Wood’s well-known painting, “American Gothic”. Here, though, the stern iconic farm couple Wood posed with apron and pitchfork are instead represented by skeletons – a nod to the Mexican holiday Dias de las Muertes, or Day of the Dead.

The Hispanic couple in the mural, clad in vest and tall farm hat, stand in front of a scene representing Mexico City, and the area around Acapulco Bay. At the left of the mural, a skeleton farmer wielding a hoe represents a hardworking farmhand eking out a living from a dry cactus-bordered field. A doorway niche in the center of the mural presents an image of the Virgin Mary attended by a tiny skeleton cherub, watching over the scene.

Market owners Socorro San Pedro and Jose Mendoza tell THE BEE that the mural was painted in June by Mike Eugene, and has received many compliments from shoppers. The market has operated at the site for two years now, but the mural seems to have increased business, as passers-by stop by to admire the artwork, and then stop in.

Across the top of the scene, the name Tienda El Campesino in cursive script identifies the grocery behind the mural. The market is packed with fresh and packaged foods, piñatas, tortillas, and popular Mexican drinks and snacks. Mendoza adds, “We also have a meat market and bakery here, and we are open to helping people with recipes.”

Mike Eugene’s colorful and creative efforts prove that artworks can make good advertisements for small businesses. And that could lead to more murals in the area.