Day 14: Bracero & Farmworker Mural

The objective of today was to arrive in time to beat any sunlight in order to trace out the image of a Toltec sculpture that will be placed on the single column near the entrance to the San Juan Municipal pool. Know as the Atlantean Tula, these statues represent Toltec warriors holding darts, knifes, and other armory. In Nahuatl, the language used by Aztecs, Toltec translates to “artisan,” thus making it a fitting and relevant piece to the mural.

The crew outlined the column using a projector this morning. The figure will be monochromatic in color as to give it a stone appearance. Eddie Quintero, Norma Perez, and Erica Herrera sketched, mapped, and painted the Toltec warrior through out the morning and afternoon.

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Austin artist Camille Gerhardt uses a picture from the Codex Borgia to paint in Tlaloc, the god of rain, above the feild. Working for hours atop a scaffold, Camille continues to produce impressive details that has given the mural a rich asthetic look. There are now three Aztec images on the north wall while our Toltec warrior wraps around the column sustaining the second level of the municipal pool.

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Gaining media attention, Raul Valdez and his crew have been interviewed by UTPA’s public relations team, the Monitor newspaper, FOX channel 9 news, and most recently chanel 23. UTPA graphic design student Erica Herrera, a native of San Juan, gives channel 23 her perspective on the project. Image

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With a masters in fine arts from UTPA, Eddie Quintero has delivered a depth of knowledge to this process. Additionally, he would like to use this experience as a starting point to future murals in the Rio Grande Valley. It is our hope that other cities in the area also embrace similar culturally and socially relevant murals.

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Raul and Camille find some shade and cool off after a productive day.

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End of day 14:

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