Artist Robert Vargas. Photo by Katlyn Valdez for Boyle Heights Beat.

A Boyle Heights intersection will soon bear the name of a prominent artist who was born and raised in the neighborhood.

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to honor muralist Robert Vargas by giving his name to the intersection of Pennsylvania and Boyle Avenues. A motion to name the intersection was presented by Councilmember Kevin de León –who represents Council District 14, which includes Boyle Heights. 

It was seconded by Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who grew up and went to school in Boyle Heights.

A permanent ceremonial sign reading “Robert Vargas Square Artist – Angeleno” will be installed to mark the designation. The intersection is not far from a prominent Vargas mural in the neighborhood – on the side wall of the Eastside Luv Bar.

Robert Vargas mural outside Eastside Luv. Photo by Katlyn Valdez

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In presenting his motion, de León said Vargas is “a world-renowned artist and leading creative force in the revitalization of downtown L.A.’s art scene.”

Vargas is currently finishing a 14-story mural near Pershing Square that is expected to become the largest mural in the world painted by a single artist. 

In a 2017 Boyle Heights Beat feature, Vargas said that His childhood environment sparked his creativity.

“Growing up in Boyle Heights was great because there was a lot of culture and multicultural influences there that inspired me,” he said.

In his motion, de León noted Vargas’ charitable work, benefitting St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The City Council is yet to vote on another motion by de León that aims to name a Boyle Heights street after the late Mexican singer Vicente Fernández. This week, the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council is expected to approve a statement opposing that designation.


Robert Vargas’ art captures and enhances the streetscape

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Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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