News ID: 267396
Published: 0540 GMT April 07, 2020

ٖCalifornia artist paints murals to brighten streets amid coronavirus outbreak

ٖCalifornia artist paints murals to brighten streets amid coronavirus outbreak

As Ruben Rojas drove past a boarded-up caffe in his Santa Monica, California neighborhood, he knew he had to do something.

"I messaged the owner and said, 'Hey, I’m going to paint these, can I have your blessing?' And he’s like, 'Yeah, go for it.' So I just grabbed some paint and put up a little message," Rojas told InsideEdition. 

The message? You can't quarantine love. 

It's the third mural Rojas has painted in the past two and a half weeks. He also painted a mural that read "Love is standing six feet apart," on the side of a building, and ‘Live through love’ on a rooftop. 

With businesses shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic, Rojas is trying to bring a little bit of color and hope to his community. He also runs a company, Beautify Earth, which connects artists with businesses and cities looking for their own murals.

"Beige, boring, ugly, blighted walls are our norm, and they shouldn’t be," Rojas said. 

As he paints, he said people drive by and honk, thank him and smile. He plans to keep creating murals during the pandemic as much as he can, and has asked local businesses who want some color on their walls to reach out. 

"There are opportunities to use good humor and positivity, even in these times," Rojas said. "Yes, we quarantine ourselves — and we do it out of love for other human beings — but love itself is so much greater and more powerful. We can continue to spread it and share it, even with everything that’s going on." 

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