Palomares Blvd Art Carrito in El Monte

Francisco Palomares
Various locations throughout El Monte

Project overview

The Art Carrito takes a familiar sight for many Angelenos, a person selling fruit from a cart, but instead of fruit, Palomares distribues paintings. Palomares uses this project to reach members of the community that may hesitate or avoid traditional COVID outreach methods.

This project brings fine art into the community in the form of a street gallery. These paintings are primarily focused on the strength of the community coming together to overcome the pandemic. The cart is decorated in custom papel picado that features masks and phrases like “Usar una mascarilla.” Upon visiting the Carrito, Palomares demonstrates painting some of these household items. The cart is revamped to feature small original paintings of things that bring comfort or safety (with humor): like a bowl of menudo, hand sanitizer, and Vicks. It also includes subtle nods to the loss the community feels by featuring pan de muerto and yellow marigolds as decoration. The original paintings created by the artist will be donated to local public agencies.

Palomares also wrote and illustrated a children’s coloring book featuring one of his familiar characters: Pedro Piñata, a small donkey piñata. Readers can follow the story about how Pedro loses, and then finds his colors, by washing his hands, wearing a mask, and getting vaccinated. The artist distributed masks, prints, and coloring books at populated events in and around El Monte. The Downtown El Monte Business Association (DEMBA) has been a valued supporter of this project, amplifying harm reduction messages through community events, members and in schools.

About the Artist

Francisco Palomares is a native Angeleno and a first generation Mexican-American. From an early age, he had an infatuation with art, especially renaissance art. His goal was to learn the painting secrets of master artists such as Goya, Rembrandt and Velasquez. He began his art career in high school on a scholarship based on technical skill to Ryman Arts, a nonprofit offering college art studio courses to high school students tuition-free. After graduating from Ryman Arts and high school, he continued his studies at California State University, Long Beach. As an undergrad, he was an art exchange student in Guangzhou, China, and Florence, Italy. In 2014 he graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting. He returned to his childhood neighborhood of East L.A. and opened his first art studio called PalomaresBLVD.  His goal is to bring the experience of life on the streets of East L.A. to the outside world.

Follow the artist


Francisco Palomares headshot.

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