Mural of ‘Mexican Masters’ in King Hall
L.A. artist Zender donates artwork to Cal State L.A.’s ‘Walls of Passion’
“Homage to the Mexican Masters,” a mural dedicated to the great Mexican painters who have influenced the Chicano mural movement in Los Angeles, is now permanently displayed on the wall of the King Hall building’s first-floor main staircase.
The mural—painted by L.A. artist John “Zender” Estrada along with Nuke, Chose, Siner, Zuco, Shandu and Duce—is donated to Cal State L.A. in the context of the “Walls of Passion: The Murals of Los Angeles” photo-documentary project.
Zender shared that he was already looking for a place to permanently exhibit the artwork, since the mural was getting some attention through magazines and TV shows. “Then,” he said, “I received an invitation from Isabel Rojas-Williams (a CSULA MFA graduate student) to attend a show called ‘Walls of Passion: The Murals of Los Angeles’ with Dr. Manuel Aguilar-Moreno. I didn’t know too much about the show, but when I saw the exhibition… I was blown away by the scale of research and the number of murals being showcased.”
At the opening of the ‘Walls of Passion’ exhibition in the Fine Arts Gallery last year, there was an attendance of approximately 700 from diverse sectors of Los Angeles and beyond. The exhibit project was also widely publicized with rave reviews.
According to Art Professor Aguilar-Moreno, “A person at the opening reception said, ‘It is the first time that I remember that a university like Cal State L.A. is interested in interacting with the surrounding communities, the barrios.’”
Aguilar said, “The donation by artist John Zender, who was featured in the project, recognizes the efforts that our institution is doing in communicating with the surrounding community to whom many of our students belong. Cal State L.A. is developing strong programs that confirm our interest and concern in the communities and their peoples.”
After more than a year, the mural found its home and was officially unveiled on campus Monday, May 24. Mounted below the mural is a plaque commemorating the “Homage to the Mexican Masters” and its artists, and acknowledging the initiative of Aguilar-Moreno, alumna Rojas-Williams and Dean Terry Allison of the College of Arts and Letters at Cal State L.A. (Click here for a photo of the plaque).
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