On November 9th, please join me in the inaugural celebration of my new murals at El Centro Chicano of Stanford University. The Centro will be hosting this event in the Jaime Miranda Lounge, and will feature food, speakers and Edgardo Cervano Soto’s videos of the mural creation process.
This special occasion provides a moment for me to dedicate the murals to their community, and is the symbolic ceremony of transferring the artwork from my hands to the community’s. The muralsare principally a gift of ideas and images to the past, present and future generations of Latin@/Chican@/Indigenous and multiracial students that will inhabit this space. But, true to their tradition, they are public art that is free and open to everyone to enjoy.
I have worked in collaboration with El Centro to create an eighteen page museum book that includes my narrative on the meanings of the work, and accompanying images. Many thanks to Stanford student and graphic designer Cesar Torres for his contribution to this, as well as the poster. Additionally, I will have prints and postcards of the mural available for purchase or ordering. The festivities will begin at noon. I look forward to seeing you there!
Special thanks to Tirso Araiza for his installation and inspiration, and to my student assistants Aambr Newsome and Carlita Wo.
New Video: Juana Alicia Discusses the Murals in Progress
Murals in Progress: Juana Alicia Creates Murals for El Centro Chicano de Estanfor
Produced by Edgardo Cervano-Soto
The second video of the series has Juana Alicia introducing “Ojas de nuestro legado/Pages from Our Legacies”, (working title) to the public. Watch and listen as she shares the inspiration behind the murals, its themes and what she hopes the mural will mean to Stanford students. As the producer of the series and friend of Juana Alicia, I am happy and excited each time to visit Juana Alicia’s studio and see the works in progress. Stanford students and art lovers are in for an amazing and inspiring mural.
HISTORY OF PROJECT
In 2007, Stanford’s Centro Chicano wrote me, offering a new commission for the Centro. A mural I had created with the Yo Puedo Program in the mid-eighties had been inadvertently destroyed during renovation, and the Centro requested that I create a new work of art in it’s place. After touring the site, I made several proposals for both exterior and interior walls. I first proposed an exterior, ceramic bas relief work similar to the works I had recently created for UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco and in Mexico at the UTM (Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana).
The proposal for the exterior wall was rejected by the powers that be, and we began to consider an interior work. After much consultation with university officials, the Centro decided to continue with a series of interior murals on canvas, be seamlessly installed and intended to be long-term, possibly permanent installations. I submitted a series of preliminary sketches, and we moved forward to finalize a contract based on those drawings.
I have now begun the process of creating the new murals for the Centro Chicano. I will be creating murals on canvas to be installed on four walls of the Centro’s entryway and stairwell: two friezes, a ceiling and a small vertical wall next to the office. The preliminary drawings for the pieces are also pictured here. The theme of the murals will be the legacy of Latin American/Indigenous literature. The pencas of the giant nopal will have scenes of our histories as Latino peoples, and quotes from literature from throughout the Latina/Chicano/Indigenous/African/multiethnic Americas. The working title for this piece is “Ojas de nuestro legado/Pages from Our Legacies”, a play on the words pages of a book and the ojas or pencas del nopal. (See the Gallery page for images of these preliminary drawings.)
During the past two academic years, I worked with Centro Director Frances Morales and graduate student Doris Madrigal Texcallini to organize meetings with students and to distribute a survey regarding the content of the mural, and there have been many great responses. I am in the process of compiling all of the material, and reading a broad swath of the literature as part of my own research. I have enjoyed and been inspired both by reading students’ responses and meeting in person on two occasions with Centro students, staff and alumni. Of particular poignance have been the calls for representing diversity of our Latino/Indigena/multiethnic experiences. The range of authors and artists is suggested is wonderful, including both traditional and non-traditional takes on identity.
- Color study for ceiling mural: Nopal de Resistencia. Study size: 5.6′ x 5.6′, acrylic on canvas. Juana Alicia ©2011
- Color Sketch for Mayan Scribe wall, Centro Chicano de Estanfor, Juana Alicia ©2011
- El Centro Chicano, a vibrant student center, supports students academically, personally, socially, and culturally.Within the Chicano and Latino community there is great diversity of backgrounds, aspirations, and sociopolitical views which adds to the richness of our collective experience. El Centro Chicano enhances this diversity, as well as Stanford’s cultural and intellectual life, by providing valuable resources to students and community members. El Centro’s programs provide Stanford students the opportunity to explore Chicano and Latino culture, history, and traditions.
Through advising and referrals, El Centro’s professional staff helps students make the most of their academic career at Stanford. Students are able to make connections with the local community, become involved in services programs, find mentors for research and/or career related endeavors, organize educational programs for the greater Stanford community, or develop a new organization. Through the academic enrichment and recognition programs, the center also helps students excel at Stanford. Most importantly, El Centro Chicano has effectively transformed a once dimly lit basement into the rich, cultural, center that has respectably become a “home away from home” for la familia de Stanford.
Please visit El Centro Chicano’s site at http://elcentro.stanford.edu/