CSUSB professor paints Chicano’s hardship

Chicano mural exhibit By Michael A. Umaña |Staff Writer|

Pictures paint a thousand words. This is true through the bold images, vivid colors the depictions of the Latino life struggles and hardships throughout the generations.

Generations of Chicanos’ hardships and struggles are visible in the Chicano mural exhibit which is on display Jan. 26- May 25, 2013 at the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art (RAFFMA).

The Chicano mural exhibit contains photographs of Chicano public art depicted “along walled apartments, buildings, schools and highways” stated professor emeritus Elliot Barkan in history and photographer of the Chicano art in the RAFFMA exhibit.

The Chicano art on display depicts how  ”the cries of pain and protest … took form in many dozens of quite different public spaces, challenging and capturing a wide variety of artistic topics that defined the new Chicano Power perspective. The communities were marked by art works applied with ferociously bold images and scenes nearly all related to Latino life, culture and religion,” stated Barkan.

The Chicano mural exhibit allows students as well as the public a glimpse into the way Chicano’s expressed themselves throughout the streets of Southern California in efforts of publicizing to the world the identity, culture and mindset of the Chicano people.

Unfortunately, today most of the murals that once were full of bright vivid sharp colors, full of stories and life have been destroyed or withered to nothing under the test of time and elements.

For me the artwork expresses the struggles of the Chicano people during this time, a generation that was not of the old culture or land, while also not being of the new culture, a cross or hybrid of the two cultures sharing ideas, beliefs and customs that were in constant battle within their own community as well as the world around them.

Personally the murals were a way for the people to express the ideas and hybrid culture they had in a way that depicts the individuality of each person down to the last detail. Including the facial expressions of men depicted in the artwork, all showing the struggle, pain and hardship they may have encountered on a daily basis.

There are murals that allow you to lose yourself in the words the artwork depicts; the murals vary from bright   enchanting colors to dark gloomy and painful expressions. Yet,ultimately every piece of art depicts its own beautiful story in its own individual way.

I urge all students and the public to visit the exhibit and interpret the artwork for themselves, take in the colors and listen to the stories the artwork has to tell us.

The “Chicano mural Exhibit” is open to all students and public, general admission is free, although a suggested donation of $3 is greatly appreciated and accepted. Parking is $5 per vehicle.

The museum is open Mon. – Wed. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and is closed Friday and Sunday. For more information, call (909) 537-7373 or visit the RAFFMA website at raffma.csusb.edu.

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