Discovering Chicano Park

July 28, 2013  •  1 Comment

 

                     

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Rich and are are excited about recently joining the Pacific Photographic Society's Meetup Group.  We heard about the group through our friend, Judy Tilson, and we were impressed with the variety of interesting outings they scheduled.  In addition, attendance is limited at each event, so we know we'll be able to move about and get some good photo opportunities.  On Saturday, we joined a group in Chicano Park to photograph and learn about the culture and history of the park.  Our leader, Salvador Torres (at left), has painted many of the murals in the park.  He was one of the creators of Chicano Park and led a movement to create and preserve it's freeway pillar murals.  Today he gave us background of many of the murals, and helped us understand the meaning of many of the illustrations.  He was a wonderfully informative and approachable leader.

Mr. Torres actually grew up in a home that was demolished as the ramps to the Coronado Bridge were constructed.  At first he resented the construction, but later he began to envision the concrete pillars as huge canvasses for public art.  In 1969 he created the Chicano Park Public Mural Program to promote his ideas, and in 1970 when bulldozers showed up to build a highway patrol facility on what the community considered a park site, there was a 12 day community uprising and occupation of the area to block construction.  Finally in 1973 Torres and the community received permission from the state to begin creating their murals.

The park and murals are constantly evolving, and there are plans to create art on the pillars "All The Way To The Bay."

 

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  As you can see here, I had almost as much fun photographing Mr. Torres as I did taking pics of the murals.  

 

_MG_5359 Each mural has dozens of individual elements, and it was interesting to isolate sections and see if they would stand alone. _MG_5357
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  Clearly the muralists love to use bright colors as they tell their stories!  

 


Comments

Carol Leigh(non-registered)
Very good photo essay. My two favorite photos are your first one, with the bold yellow and black leading our eye right to his face, and the fourth one with him in front of the bright blue background. Like how his face/mouth echo what we see in the background mural. Well done!
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