Hunger Has No Color

Mural history

Artists: John Acosta, Richard Schletty, Armando Gutierrez G.

Year Completed: 1985

Dimensions: 60 ft. wide x 12 ft. high

Location: South wall of Captain Ken’s Foods building, at 107 East Colorado Street, at intersection of So. Robert Street, 4 blocks north of Cesar Chavez Street (old Concord Street), on Saint Paul’s “West Side”.

Medium/Materials: Acrylic-latex house paints — used only primer colors dark brown and white. Original intention was to do the underpainting in grayscale and lay transparent washes of color over that (Bistre method). The grayscale painting by itself ended up having a remarkable strength without the addition of color…so we left it that way. That is in contrast to other West Side murals which are typically brightly colored.

Funding: COMPAS, Northern States Power, First National Bank.

Commissioned by: Emergency Fund Service (aka St. Paul Food Bank)…now known as Second Harvest.

Grant written by Anne Maertz.

Purpose of mural: Promote food shelf at Neighborhood House. Raise people’s awareness of the issue of hunger. Pictured are people from different nationalities working to eliminate hunger.

Miscellaneous: Commercial offset lithographic prints were made of the mural.

Dedication in 1985. L to R: Armando Gutierrez, John Acosta, Mayor George Latimer, Richard Schletty, Dick Goebel.

Schletty posing in front of his portrait at 1985 dedication

2023-2024 restoration of Hunger Has No Color mural

We are seeking grants to fund a restoration of the “Hunger Has No Color” mural which is on the south facing wall of Captain Ken’s Foods building at 107 East Colorado Street, at the intersection of So. Robert Street, on Saint Paul’s “West Side”. The current cost estimate for the Hunger restoration is approximately $17,000.

The Complete Restoration of the Hunger Has No Color mural is a project of collective passion. It is a rare opportunity due to the potential involvement of the mural’s three original creating artists – John Acosta, Armando Gutierrez G., and Richard Schletty. This mural was originally created in 1985 and has been maintained to the best of our abilities since then for the past 38 years.

Please contact John Traxler at if you have ideas for funding our restoration.

The photos immediately below, taken in fall of 2022, show the fading that has occurred due to sunlight and the damage due to water freeze-thaw cycles. The gutter problem, as described in this document, has been fixed. A new heavy duty gutter has been installed by Captain Ken’s Foods.

2010 restoration of “Hunger Has No Color” mural

Restoration work began in mid-September 2010. John Acosta and Richard Schletty restored weather-damaged areas. We gave the entire mural a “fresh-up” to restore sun-faded areas.

Funding for the 2010 restoration of the “Hunger Has No Color” mural was provided by Captain Ken’s FoodsThe City of St. Paul Cultural STAR program, and the Riverview Economic Development Association.

Photos of 2010 restoration