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Meet Isaac Tapia and Rodrigo Alvarez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Isaac Tapia and Rodrigo Alvarez.

Hi Isaac and Rodrigo, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
As muralists from the Kansas City area, we understand the power and potential of public art and the enormous impact it can have on the local community. When they are done right, murals can become focal points. More than just beautiful backdrops for photos and videos, they become sources of inspiration, pride, growth, dialogue, celebration and empowerment for their community. They are cultural and historical reservoirs for their environment.

We have witnessed this power within our own work. Many of our murals are partnerships with small businesses and have become emblems of their establishments. Each one of our murals is tailored to the cultural context of its environment and is rich with symbolism that celebrates the unique history, color, flavor, and stories of its location. As artists, we seek to do more than just beautify a space; we create a work of art that centers, is informed by, and belongs to its community. Our hope is that our murals are both storytellers and story-starters; that they become the backdrop for the future dialogue, memories, moments and events of the community.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Challenges come in different forms, from talking to a client to redesigning for a community. We like to discuss content with our clients to make sure their inputs are reflected and included in the final design. At the beginning of our murals career, we made up to 15 different changes. Now we have trained ourselves to filter through the over-saturation of ideas a client might have.

Working with a community always brings disagreements on content, ranging from opposing ideas. Our task is to bridge the gap and come to an agreement.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
IT-RA is the collaboration of Kansas City muralists Isaac Tapia and Rodrigo Alvarez. The duo began working together in the summer of 2017 when they were commissioned to paint two murals at the Richardson Early Learning Center. Since then, the artists have been commissioned to paint over 40 murals in the Kansas City area. Their most notable works are the “Troost Angel” on Troost Corridor, “Cafe Corazón” at Cafe Corazón in Westport and “Sunflowers” at the new Olathe Library.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
We like food and coffee. We have visited almost all the restaurants near our murals. Just ask us for a recommendation. (Food Blog coming soon) We don’t like not painting AKA sandy time. Designing takes forever!

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Photograph of Rodrigo and Isaac taken by Sean East

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