Driving past campus now gives students a glimpse of a colorful mural. “LIQUOR” can now be seen in painted bright blue letters. Before students departed for summer in May, the wall was a rustic beige. Now a colorful array, the wall at the corner of East Walnut Avenue and Glassell Street is decorated with a spray-painted mural created by local artist Giovani Picazo.
“Chapman customers love the mural; they said it needed to be done,” said Robert Rashid, the manager of Hooves Liquor. “It was made to lift up the neighborhood with something bright and beautiful and to advertise my store.”
When asked what inspired the imagery in the mural, Picazo cited his community of Orange, California.
“You learn what your city has to offer and the history behind it,” Picazo said. “It’s for the locals, but also for the people who visit to get an idea of what the city is about.”
“I freehanded most of the work on the mural,” Picazo said. “The Old Town Orange sign I created myself.”
Picazo began the piece on June 5 and finished within ten days on June 15.
“We definitely wanted to catch the attention of the community with a colorful patriotic theme and my personal touch,” Picazo said. “I used red, white and blue for our country, as well as green, white and red to represent where I come from and my roots and culture.”
The Old Towne Orange native is known for his work in the Orange County area for small businesses and posts his pieces to his Instagram account.
Some students who took summer courses or remained in Old Towne saw Picazo’s work on the mural progress.
“It gave Hooves some life,” said Sahar Emtiaz, a junior business and biology major. “Seeing the progression while driving past everyday was exciting.”
The Southern California native recalled passing the mural several times during her summer course as well as the remainder of her break from school.
“It gave spirit to the people,” Rashid said. “I tried to lift the neighborhood with the colors.”
When asked about any offers Chapman has made in regards to purchasing the property, Rashid said he was in the dark. Chapman’s Campus Planning declined to comment.
“I’ve been here since December of 2017 and no one has made any offers,” Rashid said. “We took over, kept it clean and bright.”
In a February 2018 interview with Harold Hewitt, Chapman’s chief operating officer, he said that the owners of Hooves completely refused to speak with Chapman because they had no interest in selling the property.
“Not only does the mural represent pride of where we come from, but it is also a symbol of unity,” Picazo said. “Visitors and locals can relate to my creation.”