• Words and Photos by The Echo Parker

Street Life with Mural Dogs: Bode and Riley

MEET Riley:


One of the powerhouses of the mural dogs, Bode and Riley. Riley was a 12 year old Yorkshire Terrier living in Santa Monica, and your quintessential California pup.



Riley loved the latest SoCal art from murals to statues, and showcasing pieces on his Instagram account for his followers to enjoy along with him!


Not only did Riley enjoy the arts, he enjoyed giving back to the community. He was a therapy dog with two organizations: Paula Kent Meehan Pawsitive Pet Program through Pet Partners at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica (ICU and Cleft Palate Clinics), and BARK Reading Dogs, a Long Beach volunteer organization that helps kids improve their confidence in their reading abilities. Helping others feel better about themselves and bringing them comfort was such a delight for Riley.

Riley was also an accomplished athlete, and held an American Kennel Club Master's Standard and Agility Jumpers Excellent titles, along with his Canine Good Citizen title. He was such a beloved figure in all different circles, even featured in the books "Working Like a Dog", and Anthony Rubio’s "Canine Couture". He was also published twice in the national Workman Publishing 365 Dogs a Year calendar.


Then one day a year ago, Riley faced a heartbreaking fate. He passed away in a horrific attack by an off leash dog who lived across the street. Riley’s mom did all she could to save Riley’s life, but the vicious dog overpowered Riley’s mom and killed Riley.

This loss was devastating for Riley’s mom and his devoted fan base. Despite his tragic end, Riley’s spirit lives on through memories, and now with Bode.


Bode of @bodeyandriley

Bode @bodeandriley

Bode was adopted by Riley’s mom and an extension of the joy Riley brought to them. From posing up a storm in front of murals to being a friendly face to his fans, Bode is carrying on Riley’s legacy of joy and fun! He celebrated his 1st birthday party followed by a takeover at Woof and Walls - the ultimate IG account for dogs and street art. The party was filled with many of Bode’s 4 legged friends and fun that served as not only as a celebration of Bode’s 1st birthday, but also a celebration of Riley’s life as well.

Woof and Walls Chicago based social media manager, Crystal Serowka is the genius behind Woof and Walls.



Defining the face of fashion and street art, Woof and Walls is the destination for art and pet lovers around the world. These posts go beyond a simple selfie or candid photo. They are carefully cultivated images that showcase the dog’s strength, character and personality. Woof and Walls is the destination for dogs and other pets that have a fashion trend of their own, and a statement that empowers their followers. Always leaving you with a smile, Woof and Walls brings beloved pets and murals from opposite sides of the country together.


Bode being invited to takeover the @WoofandWalls account was no surprise since Riley was a pro at hosting "wall crawls" where they visit many murals in one day. Riley was also featured many times himself. It is only natural that Bode would gracefully take on this honor by hosting a takeover. Bode’s charismatic energy was translated to Instagram live and Facebook as he and his mom introduced the artists and showcased the artists with their murals. Bode posed proudly with each artists and listened attentively as each artist explained their art style and mural.


What influences/inspires your designs? Drives back and forth on my way from northeast LA County to southwest LA County have influenced my work, and the construction of the 5 freeway which added hours to my daily commutes. In addition to traveling through spaces, the power of communication and access to information influences my work. I love public signage, and I’m obsessed with the abilities it offers governing entities to communicate with pictographs, in the form of simple shapes and colors. I’m enamored by traffic cones and the way we interact with them inspires a lot of my work.

Cynthia Luján

Cynthia Luján is a visual artist and Cal State-Long Beach alumna who lives in Los Angeles County and works regionally in Southern California. She is also a 2019 Pow Wow Long Beach muralist

TEP: What was it like meeting Bode? It was cute! It was interesting to see the power of Bodie’s cuteness to catch people’s attention on the street, and how that cuteness readily disarmed people’s sense of estrangement of strangers in a public space. There’s this term called kinderschema, coined by ethologist Konrad Lorenz who explains that cuteness triggers nurturing responses that ultimately help the “cute” thing survive. This “cuteness” prompts the person to protect them. This behavior also inspires some of the work I am doing in my studio-based artwork.


How do you feel about animals/pets posing in front of murals (your mural or art)? I think the overwhelming response people have on social media is great visibility for artists and their work. I also find that idea of kinderschema when applied to pets really interesting, and the dynamic of pet owner to pet relevant to my work. The power dynamic is interesting because a pet owner would almost do anything for their pet and many refer to pets as their “babies”, but the contradiction is people keep their pets on a leash with the caveat that it is to protect them, but it also is to control them. This relationship is similar to a parent and a child, a teacher and a student, or a cop and a citizen...were one reinforces their power over the other and the other is limited to behave in a way they instinctively might want to. I see this power is similar to one traffic cones and public signage holds over us, telling us where we can and can’t go, simultaneously protecting us and denying us from spaces. People like to be in control of their pets because it brings them some comfort that they can protect something and also some owners really like being able to tell them what to do, ironically many people cuddle them at night and feel protected by them.

TEP: What are your art career goals? More murals? Public installments? My goals are to continue collaborating with communities to bring pop-up mural experiences that encourage civic engagement and activation of public spaces. I’d want to do this through participating in residency opportunities locally, regionally, nationally and internationally so I can study other public spaces I haven’t been in and compare them to ones I have visited and meet people who share similar affinities for public space.

As a side note, in addition to painting murals, I also document cones on my iPhone and with an instax as an ongoing project when I travel on my walks to the market or on my trips to a new city, you can find the pics here: https://instagram.com/cautiondimlessdim. Also keep an eye out for these traffic barriers I am painting for Beach Streets in Long Beach, postponed to happen once this COVID-19 is over and its safe to congregate in public spaces again.


Cody Lusby

Cody Lusby’s Roses for Rose Park Mural is located in Rose Park, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Long Beach, CA. Characterized primarily by the intensive development of Craftsman Bungalow single-family residences between 1910 and 1922, the Rose Park Historic District is representative of old Long Beach during its rapid economic and population growth in the early 20th century. It is also an area that is protected as historical monument status. For Cody Lusby, the process to acquire approval for the mural required city and community committee involvement, a process that took 3 years. Once the mural was approved, Cody Lusby involved volunteers that worked creating an incredibly sense of community and pride.



TEP: I know the "Roses for Rose Park" was a community project and many years in the making. Your design, vibrant colors, use of stencils and volunteers is powerful and a permanent piece of street art. How did you feel once the mural was completed?

At first I was just happy to have accomplished such a big project. Roses for Rose Park is 2,250 square feet of mural is (a fairly big mural) and wrangling over 50 volunteers is not an easy task. But I would do it again, no doubt about it. It is the project I am most proud of. Just seeing how much joy it puts on peoples faces is incredible. Especially with everyone home during these trying times, we have had more people walking the alley than ever.





TEP: What influences/inspires your designs?

The street art movement is a big influence. For my mural work I like to use stencils. I feel like it is an easy solution to laying out the mural vs projection or making it up as you go. I like to say the stencil is to street art as the silk screen is to pop art. It's like date stamping the mural to what is happening now.



TEP: How do you feel about animals/pets posing in front of murals (your mural or art)?

All are welcome to pose in front of the mural, it is a public mural and meant to be enjoyed by all.



TEP: What was it like meeting Bode?

Puppies are always a lot of fun. He didn’t poop or pee on me so I would say our meeting was a success. Bode didn’t smell and was well behaved. I enjoyed the experience. I wonder if he will remember me…






"Roses for Rose Park" is a large scale community mural of an ensemble of multi-colored roses (meant to represent the area's diversity) in the alley adjacent to 2925 E. 6th street, located in Historic Rose Park between Orizaba street and Temple street. Painted in a contemporary stencil format in dialogue with the street art movement, the project's goal is to reinforce community identity and beautify the neighborhood.

Cody is a painter focused on contemporary realism. His work is divided into different series. Each theme has multiple paintings focused on modern and present concepts. Though the bodies of work vary with ideas, the main focus is to evolve painting forward. To create this progression he has three consisting elements running through his paintings. Time represented by segmentation, motion expressed by the blurring of the painted subject matter and place solidified by a photo collaged background.Originally from the Pacific Northwest (B: 1978, Portland, OR.), Cody was raised in the Southern California. He attended Orange County High School of the Arts. In 1996, on a scholarship he won through the “Festival of the Arts”, he attended Laguna College of Art and Design. After college Cody worked a variety of art related jobs picking up skills and techniques that are vital to the quality and professionalism that define him as an artist.In 2009 Cody landed his first solo show, “Mustachio rides again” with the gallery called Art from the Hive in Santa Ana, California. In that show he displayed how he metamorphosed from his classically trained roots into a contemporary realist. Since that first solo show Cody has developed his artwork into a full time career.



Roman Cortez

Roman Cortez and Bode in front of "Gogo and Daisy Blue" mural

GoGo and Daisy Blue

Last year, Roman Cortez and his family lost their beloved Gogo and Daisy Blue five months apart. But they inspired Ramon to create a children's book, Don't Be Blue Daisy Blue. Release this summer!

Read the tale about the two best Boston Terrier's in the world - Gogo and Daisy Blue!

One day Daisy Blue realizes she has no tail (true story), so her brave and loving sister, Gogo wanders out to the countryside to find her sister a tail. It's 40-pages filled with colorful characters and ends with an inspiring life lesson. This children's book is an enjoyable read for all ages. It was written by Michelle Ami-Cortez and Roman Cortez, and illustrated by Roman Cortez.

Losing one dog was devastating. Losing the other one 4 months later is life changing. We’re truly grateful to have been given the chance to experience the true love a dog can bring into your lives, let alone, two. When I was painting this a man and his little Boston Terrier girl happened to walk by. I think it was the girls’ way of saying, “We’re right here with you, Papa.” ❤️❤️

Bode's good friends shared their feelings about Riley and Bode and street art in a Q&A:


TuesdayswithMoxie


Moxie @TuesdayswithMoxie

The Echo Parker: Moxie, I notice you have a keen eye for murals and have posed in front of murals with artist, tell us about your favorites!?!

We are so lucky to be in a city with so much awesome street art! We love to discover new walls and really got into it when Bode’s mom, Debbie (treat lady!), invited us on a couple wall crawls. Not only did she take us to cool art around town, but we also got to re-discover parts of L.A. we don’t go to as much. We also enjoy learning about each artist’s inspiration and the messages behind their murals. They each encourage us to dream or think about our lives in different ways.


clintonbopp's Innocent Wonder mural is elaborate and beautiful and we take to heart the message of our urban impact on the environment. We love the eclectic fun of Tristan Eaton's murals and all the pop culture references.


Crochet street art? We can’t get enough of London Kaye's pieces! What a unique way to combine the art of crochet into our outdoor/public experiences.


In the world of social media, we found Kelsey Montague's approach to art—that is, the art being a participant of an individual’s experience—to be really interesting and beautiful.


Peanut @peanut.loves.butter and Moxie @tuesdayswithmoxie

Koru Bear

Koru Bear @goldenwoofs

TEP: So nice to meet you Koru Bear! I notice you have a keen eye for murals tell me about your passion for art. Tell us about it?

Yes, we love to explore different local places and it’s hard not to notice eye catching murals. We noticed that many cities and business use murals as a form of promotion. On our travels too, murals are on the list of must visit places. Our recent mural visit was in Social, Costa Mesa. We met the artist after he partially finished the tribute wall of Kobe.

TEP: Who are some of your favorite artists?

I love all the artists that created Love Walls — Cutis Kulig in Culver City, and James Goldcrown in Venice, and Inspirational What Lift You Up Walls by Kelsey Montague.

Peanut

TEP: Peanut, I noticed you and Bode have a fun engaging energy together and enjoy each other's company. What do you like most about Bode?

Bode is so quick and loves to explore new things and places. We haven’t hung out one on one but I’m sure we’d run around the beach together!! Peanut loves playing with little pups, especially when they chase her.

TEP: Peanut, you have an infectious style. I noticed the adorable Zoo Snoods you were wearing at Bode's birthday party. Tell me about your style.

Peanut loves to accessorize, she usually has on a colorful collar, collar flower, bandana or sailor bow with different prints/themes depending on what type of event she’s heading to. She doesn’t love headbands or hats but she doesn’t mind the zoo snood since they’re soft. It’s a fun way for her to dress up without wearing too much on her head.

Peanut @Peanut.loves.butter

Hank and Masha

TEP: Hank I noticed you and Bode have a fun engaging energy together and enjoy each other's company. What is your favorite thing about him?

Bode is a handsome little dude. We definitely have good looks in common. I can imagine him and I wearing a suit and glasses on the cover of GQ. I like that Bode is an energetic wiggle worm and a firecracker like I am.

Masha and Hank @Mash_and_Hank

Ruby

TEP: I noticed you and Bode have a fun engaging energy together and enjoy each other's company. What do you like most about Bode?

I like Bode because he throws cool parties and has an awesome ball pit. Not to mention, he has pawtastic taste in treats & cake.

TEP: You have an infectious style with stylish bandana, sharp attire and a flair for fun clothes. Tell me about your style.

I prefer comfortable and warm clothes. I mostly follow my sister's (Paris) lead when it comes to style. She likes pretty clothes and having her hair brushed. I prefer to keep it simple and get a little dirty outside!

Ruby @paris.and.ruby

Chompster @Chompsterinc

Chompster Inc. is lovingly baked for your best friend with all-natural, human-grade, nutrition-packed ingredients. It is baked at a low temperature in our kitchen and frozen for convenient storage and serving. You get all the nutritional benefits of home cooking for your dog but we do the work!

Lavender @lavenderdoodle

TEP: Lavender, I noticed you and Bode have a fun engaging energy together and enjoy each other's company. What do you like most about Bode? I love Bode’s happy spirit and he reminds me of his big brother Riley! I knew Riley way before there even was an Instagram and I do believe Bode came at the pawfect time to heal his Mommy’s broken heart!!! Bode was pawsitively heaven sent!

TEP: Lavender, You are an agility dog and have great speed. Tell me about this. Have you won competitions? What do you enjoy about running? Running I love to run. Whenever Mommy takes me to a puppy pawty I can’t contain myself. I must say hi to every pup and every peep. It is my mission! I am an agility champion! I love to compete! I just got my CS-ATCH which stands for CPE Specialist Agility Team Champion! That’s how I met Riley who is Bode’s big brother because we were in agility classes together! Riley was a champion too!! I can’t wait till Bode can compete he is going to rock I am sure of it!!! I am an actress and a model. I love to pose and I love to act!! I also have my AKC Performer Trick Title which means I did almost 40 tricks and that comes in very handy. If we have to wait in a line for something it is Lavender to the rescue, let me entertain you!

TEP: Tell me about your style, boots and your favorite things to do. My style well I am one fluffy puppy so clothes just get in my way but shoes I am so my Mommy’s daughter!! I am always the little white pup in the red shoes!! As Mommy always says I have Loubitons she does not!!! I am a fashionista!!! I love to shop, I love the mall, I love to visit with all my furiends, I love to see people and I love just being with my Mommy!!! I am a love pup and I love my Mommy more than anything!

I am Pawsitively Pawntastic!!!

Carmella @carmella_rosa

TEP: Carmella, I noticed you and Bode have a fun engaging energy together and enjoy each other's company. What do you like most about Bode?

I love Bode’s puppy energy, he’s still so young and has so much energy in him. He gets me wanting to play and chase after him. Bode is just a cute little energizer bunny!


TEP: You have an infectious style with stylish bandana, sharp attire and a flair for fun clothes. Tell me about your style.

My fashion style is mostly casual and comfortable, but has to be stylish. You’ll usually see me rockin’ one of my many bandanas. I never leave home without lookin’ stylish. You just never know who you’ll meet! On occasion, I’ll dress up depending on the event we are attending.


Carmella's mom shared her feelings for this interview: Carmella is super sweet, she loves meeting people no matter how old they are or what nationality they are. She wants to meet every dog we come across no matter how small or big too. She’s too friendly haha she loves to play fetch and tug of war. She absolutely loves to play with her squeaky toys and stuffed animal toys. She’s very quiet, hardly barks and is a very calm pup since we got her at 3 months old. We are very lucky to have her. Love her to pieces! She’s always stylish and likes being our little fashionista!


Ruby @bootleg_ruby

Hank @hank_and_masha

Masha @Hank_and_masha

Chuy @chuythetravelingyorkie

*While it is heart warming and a break from the uncertainty ahead of us at this time, this is also a good reminder of how helpful our canine companions can be during a stressful time. Please contact your local shelters and adoption centers, there are dogs in need of a home & can bring happiness to a lonely situation. If the case worsens (which it will), walking your dog may be the only reason you CAN go out.



Stay safe, and PLEASE STAY HOME.


A few NYC dog links to check out:

Rescue Dogs Rock NYC

The Doggy-Sitters Club

nyyankeedog

The Dogist

Yuki Pomchi

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