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East Los Luv - A Public Art Project for the Love of East L.A.

A community-based collaborative mural and interactive public art project by Los Angeles artist Stephanie Mercado.


To create a vibrant and eclectic mural that uplifts, empowers, and celebrates the surrounding community’s cultural contributions.  Increase representation of East Los Angeles residents through public art, and inspire the viewer through cultural affirmation and an artistic experience.


To create a community-based collaborative mural that includes icons and symbols, cultural references, family photos, and oral histories from locals. This mural will reflect the community through direct engagement and inclusion, resulting in a collage-based artwork that highlights the diversity of East Los Angeles.

A multilingual website designed and built by the artist to share information and documentation about the project. The site includes updates, workshops, resources, and a virtual gallery showcasing the work of community members. Visit to learn more about the project.

An image of a mural installed on a building featuring portraits of community members and cultural references.


The East Los Luv mural was completed between October - December of 2023, and installed January 2024. East Los Luv is a love letter to East Los Angeles. Stephanie Mercado’s printmaking-based collage art, weaves together cultural references and portraits of community members. The vibrant painting incorporates community-sourced photographs, reflecting the rich cultural history of East Los Angeles spanning ten generations. Chosen from 53 local artists, Mercado brings a dynamic and engaging mural to life using the visual language of relief printmaking, collage, paper arts, and portraiture. The address is 4655 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA, 90022.


The design of the mural includes portraits of community members spanning ten generations. These photos were submitted using coloring sheets, or emailed directly to the artist during the community engagement phase 2021 - 2022. The artist converted the family photos into graphic images to merge the hand-carved elements with the portraits. The portraits also include gradients, light beams, and patterns reminiscent of Aztec designs. These patterns pay tribute to her indigenous roots.


The mural design seamlessly blends traditional printmaking, collage, and illustration. Hand-carved relief stamps, featuring cultural references, household items, and portraits based on photos from East Los Angeles residents, are layered to create a dynamic landscape. Originally printed on paper, the artist collaged these elements before scaling up the artwork using acrylic paint on fabric—a process known as marouflage. The finished mural, consisting of 34 panels measuring approximately 32′ 3″ x 44′ 7″.

East Los Luv Co Create Workshop Art Education Los Angeles


Art-making workshops with community members from Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. Participants are given coloring sheets that prompt one to describe what is important to them about family, place, food, and their personal experience. The coloring sheets are interactive and include blank areas to include photos of family, places, or things. The elements can then be arranged into collages to make each work unique.


Artist designed coloring and collage activity sheets with themes to prompt participants to consider what or who they would like to honor, or see included in the East Los Luv project. Participants can add photos, drawings, or hand-written anecdotes about what East LA means to them. Activities can be downloaded from

East Los Luv Lesson Plan Art Education


A free guide for teachers and teaching artists to share this project with their students. The goal is to increase the voices of youth in this project and to advance art education through public art. Teachers are encouraged to submit student artworks for inclusion in the community art virtual gallery.

East Los Luv Community Art Gallery Los Angeles Stephanie Mercado


The East Los Luv Virtual Art Gallery features artwork made by community members using the East Los Luv coloring and collage activity sheets. The artworks can be viewed on the site Submissions are being accepted indefinitely to grow the archive of the project.

East Los Luv Public Art Project Stephanie Mercado


Community engagement can take many forms and social media is a great tool to reach many people world-wide. I recognize that people move around and have roots or family in East Los Angeles. East Los Luv uses social media as an engagement tool to share updates about the project, calls to action, and create points of connection through art. Follow @Eastlosluv on Instagram and Facebook.

Public art can be more than the final art product installed in a public space. The East Los Luv public art project strives to engage community members and create community around the arts. It seeks to empower people through cultural affirmation and art education. East Los Luv is a long-term project that may eventually include other commissions received by the artist in the City and County of Los Angeles. Questions and inquiries can be emailed to