Murals Give South Central Neighborhood a New Look

Just a few blocks from a two-mile stretch of South Vermont Avenue known as "death alley" in South Central, a new mural greets residents.

A team of local artists is giving one of LA's toughest neighborhoods a new face by painting murals over walls that are often covered in graffiti.

Nery Cividanis is one of the artists working with the project Smile South Central, which aims to work with local business owners to beautify the area.

For Cividanis, the paintings are about more than the initial reaction.

"We want everyone to get a sense of community," he said.

Oscar Paz, who lives nearby, said a mural going up at 46th Street and Vermont Avenue is already doing what the artists hoped, putting a smile on locals' faces.

Business owners said they also support the murals because they help them save money they would otherwise have to spend to paint over tagging.

Kook Kim, the owner of a Dollar Bargain Market, said he is grateful for the artists doing the work for free on the wall of his business.

He hopes it will deter tagging.

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