Two renowned Latino muralists have been chosen by No Kid Hungry, a national campaign to end childhood hunger in America, as a part of its "Rebuilding" campaign that runs through October 8.

Illustrator and fine artist John P. Dessereau and muralist, photographer, fine artist, and graphic designer Steve Martinez will be joining the initiative that aims to bring attention to the importance of feeding children in the middle of the battle against the pandemic. Through the initiative and the works of the two Latino artists, the initiative hopes to get more individuals involved and help in ensuring that no child faces hunger.

As the United States begins to open its schools after the coronavirus pandemic, 1 in every 6 children in the country is at risk of hunger. In the Latino community, which is disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, up to 39 percent of kids and their families face hunger, compared to only 15 percent in White families with children. As part of its efforts to allow access between kids and the food they need to survive, No Kid Hungry has teamed up with the country's premiere artists to develop and create large-scale murals inspired by the perspective of local children affected by the pandemic, as well as their hopes and vision for a better future.

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Kids Playing Outside in LA

In Los Angeles, No Kid Hungry collaborated with Steve Martinez, whose portfolio included a wide range of clients such as Universal Pictures and Arts Council for Long Beach. The Los Angeles native is the son of Guatemalan immigrants, bringing his unique view to this work, drawing from his humble origins. In his work, he drew inspiration from the local children to develop his creative rendition of their unique experience across the pandemic, now on display at 2627 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica.

Steve Martinez
(Photo: Santa Cruz PR)
Steve Martinez standing in front of his work in partnership with No Kid Hungry.

"One of the main things I took away from the conversation with the kids was that they are bored being stuck in the house and ready to go outside and play and hang out with their friends," Martinez shares in a statement. "I think that is something we can all easily relate to."

Emerging From the Pandemic

In New York, No Kid Hungry has tapped the talents of John P. Dessereau, who worked from comic books to street art, in styles ranging from surrealism to impressionism. His use of both traditional and digital methods have created works that are immortalized in the collections of the Williamsburg Brooklyn Historical Center and filmmaker Spike Lee, as well as making appearances in Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Dessereau is the son of a Caucasian father and a Puerto Rican mother, attending public schools in the Bronx and growing up on school meals — giving him a personal connection with kids at risk of hunger. His work is a mural now visible at the Citi Field in Queens, New York.

John P. Dessereau
(Photo: Santa Cruz PR)
John P. Dessereau standing in front of his work in partnership with No Kid Hungry.

"After speaking with the youth, I had two take-aways — they feel like they want an emergence from the darkness of the pandemic. And they see a bridge as a powerful metaphor for coming out of these dark times. My mural proposal is a montage of all of these entities," Dessereau explains.

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