Celeste Byers painted the mural on the side of the restaurant that sponsored the project.
Relief efforts following the September 19th earthquake in Mexico City, which took the lives of more than 370 people, came to the area in many forms. Obecian Celeste Byers chose to paint a mural of the rescue dog Frida — in Mexico City.
Frida reportedly found 12 people after the quake.
A Byers mural in O.B.
Frida, a member of the Mexican navy’s canine unit, has reportedly found over 52 people after natural disasters. Amid the rubble, Frida and her team sniff out survivors under collapsed buildings. Images of her in dog-tailored boots and goggles flew across social media and brought a spark of optimism in the wake of the disaster.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico City and have many friends there,” said Byers. “I kept seeing stuff all over the internet, how awful it was, and to send money to help. I wanted to do something bigger. Friends invited me to paint a mural and I felt like I really had something to offer that I can give. I brainstormed together with my friends, Arturo and Liliana, from the Maia gallery in Mexico City who told me about Frida.”
Byers went to Mexico City to paint the mural, which was funded by La Cervecería Barrio, a restaurant in Roma Norte, an area hit hard by the earthquake. She painted the mural directly on the metal wall as she hung from a swing stage scaffold attached to the roof. She painted one half and then moved the scaffolding to paint the other side.
Byers chose to use the halo-esque elements of the Virgin of Guadalupe to highlight Frida’s heroism. Roses and the Mexican national flower, dahlia pinnata, line the perimeter of the 20´ x 16.5´ image.