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July 26, 2021

Salt Lake City barbershop creates mural to honor brother who was shot, killed

SALT LAKE CITY — A barbershop in Rose Park got a special paint job after local artists created a custom mural to pay tribute to one of their own who left too soon.

Ernesto Buriacaga’s younger brother Miguel, known as “Smerk,” was murdered in December 2020.

His family has lived in the Rose Park area for years. So on Saturday, Ernesto decided it was time to memorialize his brother, who was known for being “cheerful and the life of the party.”

Ernesto owns Smerk’s barbershop, which he named after his brother. He said it just made sense for Miguel’s face to be on the walls of the business.

“It’s important for me to have this mural put up because my brother means the world to me and I know he loves this community,” said Ernesto.

He commissioned some artist friends, also with connections to Rose Park, to paint the mural.

The artists said they could not be happier to create the mural.

“We’re all human, you know, and it costs zero dollars to be a good person,” said the artist. “So if you have a talent that’s able to help someone, why not use it and be there for them?”

The mural was framed with roses to symbolize the deep roots Miguel had to Rose Park.

The painting was expected to be completed on Sunday.

Anyone who wants to see it can do so at 1315 West and 500 North.

Debbie Worthen

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