Quantcast
Home » News
Home » News

Biggest Latino supermarket in Utah set to open

Published March 3, 2011 1:25 pm

Art • Local Latino artists bring color to the walls of newly opened SLC store.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An underreported result of Utah's explosive growth in its Latino population is experiencing an equally large explosion in art, culture and color.

One example is a new supermarket on Salt Lake City's west side. The Ogden-based Viva Markets is opening its biggest store yet at the site of the former Albertson's at 900 W. North Temple.

Besides fresh vegetables, meats and a wide array of Latin American food, spices and herbs, the new Viva Market will include a dose of culture in a celebrated Mexican format — murals.



"Some of my best ideas come when I'm sleeping," explains Viva manager Dennis Lorencz. In this case, Lorencz recently was dreaming of the old-town markets in Mexico. "The walls were covered in art."

Lorencz contacted a handful of local Latino artists, including Jimmy Lucero, Lee Madrid, Juan Carlos Andrade and Dominique Suazo. "I gave them some ideas and they took it from there," he says.

The result is four brilliantly colored murals in the store.

"He wanted something that would make the people proud of who they are," says Lucero, a noted local artist with a fine-art master's degree from the University of Utah. The vibrant panels are a celebration of family life, including piñatas, dance and niños.

A shopping trip to a Latino market is more of a community social event, rather than simply buying groceries. That's why Viva will include a restaurant, small merchants and a flea market. "For Latinos, it's not a place to pick up some groceries and go," Lucero says. "It's a gathering place. It's about people."

Andrade, who grew up in Puebla, Mexico, drew upon deeply rooted cultural images, including an Aztec calendar. Workers finishing the interior of the store have been captivated by the images. "Juan Carlos' work really connects with people's past," Lucero says. "It hits them in their heart."

Lorencz asked the artists to include on the murals a statement of their purpose:

"These murals show our pride in our culture and heritage. They celebrate our past and hopefully our future. … Hard work and education will strengthen our community and will help our children gain access to the American dream."

He's delighted with the artwork. "They're terrific," he says. "Now there is culture inside the store. Our first- and second-generation customers are going to see the murals and it's going to give them comfort."

Lorencz is awaiting final permit approval to open the Viva Market, which is expected to happen today.

gwarchol@sltrib.com

 

 

 

 

 

USER COMMENTS
Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus