Ivanna Suarez

Art Transforming Urban Environments

Preface: My name is Ivanna Suarez, and this is Art transforming Urban environments in Chicano Park through murals. And the type of creative commons license I’ll be using is CC by 4.0.

Introduction: The murals at Chicano Park were created by many different people but all for the same purpose, to create a sense of community and to represent the Chicano culture. They created an everlasting impression on a space that was once their home, as many of the artist were residents there prior to the construction of the bridge.

Theme: A theme that is shown through these murals is community. The creators of this park and these murals wanted to keep a space alive that was taken over by construction and an interstate. Many residents were displaced during the construction and they fought to create the space under the freeway into a park for the community. By creating the murals they made it a beautiful place to be instead of feeling like they were under a freeway and the murals made the pylons feel as if they were one with the park. Another theme is culture. Along with the sense of community the creators wanted to feel they also wanted to preserve their culture permanently. Painted throughout this park are icons of the chicano culture and pictures that represent stories of their culture. Whoever goes through this park will gain knowledge of the chicano culture and will hopefully spread their new found knowledge and it will keep their culture alive.

Analysis: The images that I selected are murals from Chicano Park in San Diego. In the 1960’s the construction for interstate 5 and the San Diego coronado bridge bisected over this Mexican-American neighbor, called Barrio Logan. With this new construction many residents were displaced. In 1969 residents demolition teams gathered where they had agreed a park would be and so they went out and created human chains and fought for 12 days until the city agreed on the park. The bridge pylons were incorporated into the design of the park, which alone is an artistic choice. But then they went on to have artists and residents of the area come and create all of these beautiful murals. While creating these murals I believe the purpose was to create a sense of community in a place that almost lost and also use it as a way to keep the chicano culture alive for years to come. Just recently the murals were touched up and they are maintained very well which lead me to believe that the murals and the chicano culture will be around for a very long time. I think in the future people will see these murals and if it is still a park then understand it was used to build a community and if not I think they will do research on it and see the beauty in the chicano culture.

Application: These Chicano Park murals are important in learning and understanding their culture. These murals represent important people of their culture and is an incentive to learn more. With the neighborhood that the highway was destroying was a predominantly mexican-american neighborhood I think the murals show the strength of the culture and that they aren’t people you can just displace and it is them showing this is their land too. It is also a pretty unconventional way to create an everlasting impression on people about a culture, creating many murals to represent it and it also being a usable space in which you can also be immersed in the culture by being at the park.


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