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By Sasha Primo

Drawing upon the rich tapestry of Southwest history, music, human rights, and social justice, this mural brings together numerous symbolic elements of Southwestern cultural identity, including local landmarks, individuals, flora, and fauna.

Personally, I find this project deeply engaging due to my familiar connection: my grandmother, Esther Shulman, was related to Harry Shulman, the proprietor of the historic Shulman’s Market store in Old Southwest. Part of my family immigrated from Lithuania to the U.S., while another part settled in Argentina. The design features a portrait of Marvin Gaye, an African American musician and icon of the Motown music movement in the 1960s. Gaye was born and raised in a public housing unit in Southwest, where he experienced foundational growth for his music. Beneath Gaye’s portrait, cherry blossoms bloom, framing a local eastern cottontail rabbit.

To the left, a great blue heron flies gracefully. The design also includes hopeful signs of love and familial bonds, depicted by a mother holding her baby. At the same time, the Arena Stage, a flagship venue for the American theatre, completes the composition.

Location: 7th St. & E St. SW Instagram: @sasha_primo
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