Ivan Lopez, 27-year-old artist and owner of Artillery Apparel Gallery (Artillery A.G.), is a young Latino artist working to continue a legacy of art in the Mission District.

Last Saturday, Nov. 23, Lopez unveiled his latest body of work titled Salvaje at (Artillery A.G.), his art and clothing boutique located on Mission between 23rd and 24th streets.

Lopez, who immigrated to San Francisco from Colombia when he was three years old, is known for his paintings of brightly colored animals on canvases and clothing. The show offered spectators a unique look into the meaning behind his artwork.

“Salvaje … celebrates some of the most recognized and resilient animals that continue to roam the earth,” said Lopez. “While also questioning, who is really salvaje [a savage]?

Lopez opened Artillery A.G. in 2009 with the help of his parents – long term business owners of Elite Sports Soccer- located a block away on Mission between 23rd and 22nd streets.

“[My parents] risked their retirement funds to help establish the initial investment and that was a huge turning point because there was no safety net,” Lopez said.

Since its opening, the gallery has transformed into a successful business and art hub for local artists.

Some of the Mission’s finest printmakers – Calixto Robles and Juan R. Fuentes, who influenced Lopez’s artwork, have showcased their prints and posters at the gallery.

Community organizations including the AIDS Foundation, Mission Local, Loco Bloco and  Mission Arts & Performance Project, have used the space to perform and host fundraising events.

“Besides [working with] artists we employ young people with little or no business experience  and give them hands-on business experience,” Lopez said.

Alexa Treviño, 25, is an artist who works at the gallery. Reflecting on her time before Artillery A.G.:  “I didn’t know how to sell art or what it meant to be an artist,” Treviño said.

For Treviño one of the best things about Artillery is that she can sell her art and,“have [her] community come and support [her].”

As Artillery A.G. continues to cultivate art in the Mission District, Lopez acknowledges the local artists that influenced him and his parents for taking him under their wings to help him create his business.

“Salvaje” will be on display at Artillery Apparel Gallery through January 2014.