Chicano Park: Now a National Landmark! Flashback to meeting one of the founding artists

So happy to note that yesterday Chicano Park was designated a National Landmark
A few years ago, my friends and I decided to go explore all the  amazing murals and ended up meeting one of the founding artists!
If you missed my blog yesterday, you might CLICK OVER TO SEE  some amazing art.
Well, as luck would have it, the day we visited we happened upon a group of students restoring some murals, so we walked on over and got the scoop.
(Cuz that’s how we roll – go do some talkin’ and meet some new people…)
Well, it turns out we met Victor Ochoa – one of the founding members from 1970 of Chicano Park!
He is responsible for a lot of the murals and the current restoration.
How cool is that?  Talk about perfect timing!
We also talked to some of the students who are from Philadelphia and they had given up their
spring break to travel to California on a service project.
Unlike other parks, Chicano Park displays on its huge pillars, one of the largest assemblages 
of public murals in North America. 
And just have to note:  That was the portrait the City of San Diego asked to purchase (but I gave it to them for free) for their recycle bin at City Hall!
It was heartwarming to see such dedication and spirit from the kids and from Mr. Ochoa.
I bet you’d like to see some of the amazing art of Chicano Park too, wouldn’t you?
Well stick with me, my friends – have I got some art for you!
In many ways Chicano Park is like any other park. It’s where families gather to have a picnic. 
These awe inspiring murals are giant mirrors of Chicano history.
Even the restroom is covered with art!
It is bright and beautiful and AMAZING!  Everywhere you look is amazing art.
The creation of Chicano Park in the spring of 1970 was a defining moment in Chicano history 
and in the history of Barrio Logan.  It has since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Many of the murals are now being restored and refreshed so it really is beautiful — everywhere you look!

“There are the meditative moments in Chicano Park – when the din of the traffic evaporates and you’re alone facing the monoliths of history – prisms reflecting our lives, our history, and our struggle.

It’s our church, where we reflect on the spirit of those who struggled to create and preserve the Park.

It is our school, where we learn our story – our history written, 
painted and told by us for generations to come.

It’s also during these contemplative moments when Chicano Park becomes the paramount icon of our Raza’s aspiration to control something meaningful in our lives – Chicano Park symbolizes our sacred right to self-determination.”
It was a wonderful day – and I hope you will each go for a visit too!
And after your visit, make sure you walk across the street to Panchita’s Bakery:  
………and enjoy a cup of  Mexican hot chocolate and a super yummy, fresh and affordable bakery treat!
 
Victor Ochoa is a widely recognized Chicano painter/muralist long considered to be one of the pioneers of San Diego’s Chicano art movement. He is a co-founder of the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park, a multidisciplinary community-based arts center devoted to producing and preserving Indian, Mexican, and Chicano art and culture.

He served as its director from 1970-73, and from 1988-90. Ochoa was a co-initiator of the Chicano Park community murals, an internationally acclaimed public art project. 





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