If you've wandered around the downtown and Segundo Barrio area you've probably run across murals painted by local artist Jesus “CIMI” Alvarado. What began as graffiti art soon turned into Chicano murals that tell the story of El Paso. CIMI learned his craft from local artists like his former teacher at Bowie High School, Gaspar Enriquez.

He takes a page from Enriquez by showing the "everyday Chicanx population that strengthens border culture in El Paso." As he was brought up and nurtured as an artist by Enriquez, CIMI is also bringing along a new generation of El Paso artists to continue telling the story of our region. His Kalavera Culture Shop is a place where new artists can buy art supplies and find an artistic community that truly upholds one another.

CIMI/Marina Monsisvais
CIMI/Marina Monsisvais

El Paso plays a part in the movie and CIMI's murals will "serve as code for those trying to escape the purge" according to a press release about his artwork being featured in the movie. The director of The Forever Purge called CIMI a "chingon" and said his murals will lend authenticity to the movie because "art and poetry that Latinos in the United States create can be utilized as a type of code of communication which hides in plain sight."

That's pretty high praise for an artist and El Pasoans are lucky enough to be able to see CIMI's artwork throughout the downtown and Segundo Barrio area. When you watch The Forever Purge you'll be seeing the artwork of an artist who calls El Paso home and shares his love of our city and culture with the rest of the world.

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