Annapolis Design District mural honors Mexican heritage

Danielle Ohl
Contact Reporterdohl@capgaznews.com

After days of work, Gerardo “Fosil” Rivera Suaste said he was leaving his mural in Annapolis — along with his heart.

The international muralist visited Annapolis Tuesday for the dedication of his mural honoring Mexican heritage on McGuckian Street in the Design District. It is the 11th mural in the district.

Rivera Suaste’s mural, the city’s first by a Mexican artist, recognizes some the country’s famous figures — artist Frida Kahlo, actor Carlos Villagrán Eslava's beloved character Kiko and comedian Cantinflas. The mural is intended to promote the country and reinforce the idea that all humans are connected.

The mural, with striking colors, flowers and skull imagery, invokes the Day of the Dead, a celebration in Mexico that honors family members and friends who have died. In painting exposed skeletons in the famous faces, Rivera Suaste also invokes another theme painted on the mural: “Somos la misma especie,” or “We are the same species.”

Rivera Suaste honed this philosophy while visiting museums in Washington, D.C., and exploring exhibits on evolution, he said.

The facade used to be a bare, brick wall outside of masonry supply store Gomoljak Block. Rivera Suaste was able to come to Annapolis with the help of the Mexican Embassy, and completed the mural free of charge.

“What we’re seeking is to strengthen the relationships of that of the Mexican Embassy, the government of Mexico, with the local government,” said Alan Torres, a representative of the embassy. “We’re more than happy Gerardo is leaving here a mark and also his gift … to the city of Annapolis.”

Rivera Suaste said he hopes to return soon.

Alderman Marc Rodriguez, D-Ward 5, presented Rivera Suaste with a City Council citation to thank him for “dedication, creativity and remarkable talent as an artist.”

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