Robert Vargas in 2017 in front of one of his downtown murals. Photo by Katlyn Valdez

The intersection of 1st and State streets will soon bear the name of Robert Vargas, a Boyle Heights artist well-known for his murals across the city.

At a naming ceremony for the intersection, which will take place Friday at 10:00 am at 1860 E. First St., an official city plaque reading “Robert Vargas Square – Artist Angeleno” will be unveiled. Television and radio host Gigi Graciette is set to host the event, which will feature various guest speakers including Vargas’ family members.

“Thank you to my beloved Boyle Heights. I champion you wherever I go in this world, you are never far from my heart,” said Vargas in an Instagram post announcing the event. “As a multi-generational native of Boyle Heights, I am filled with pride and I am honored to contribute to our story.”

The naming of a “Robert Vargas Square” in Boyle Heights is the result of a motion presented by councilmember Kevin de León and approved by the Los Angeles City Council in January. Originally the location for the square was set to be the intersection of Pennsylvania and Boyle, a block North of Mariachi Plaza. It’s unclear why the honorary spot was moved to the location, which is a block away from a Vargas mural on the side wall of Eastside Luv Bar.

In September, De León held a ceremony to rename a portion of Bailey Street in honor of Mexican singer Vicente Fernández. It’s uncertain if the embattled councilmember, who is facing calls for his resignation and an active signature drive for a recall, will attend the naming ceremony.

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Alex Medina

Alex Medina is a graduate of Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School and 2018 alumnus of the Boyle Heights Beat. He is a recent graduate of Hamilton College in Central New York where he majored in Hispanic...

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