Artist protests declined mural extension
A local artist is criticizing the System-wide Art Acquisition Committee and UC Policy Board after his request to paint a mural entitled “En los Manos de Dios” in the New UC was declined.
Mario Gonzales, one of the artists of the 1973 mural “La Marcha por la Humanidad,” which was housed in the old UC Cougar Den, approached SWAAC, wanting to expand his original mural with “En los Manos de Dios.”
In December, Gonzales was contacted by SWAAC and was told that the original mural “La Marcha por la Humanidad” would be preserved with “no new additions,” according to his December SWAAC presentation.
“Following Mr. Gonzales’ presentation, the Committee recommended that an art conservator be hired to stabilize, clean and restore the piece as needed due to the recent construction,” according to the official meeting minutes for December’s SWAAC meeting.
“Art scholars on the Committee believe this action will maintain and preserve the mural’s historical significance and ensure generations of students can see the mural as it was created by students in the 1970s.”
Gonzales, however, said he should be allowed to create the mural addition.
“I feel betrayed, betrayed by the same people who voted me off my mural 40 years ago and by SWAAC, who conveniently took their side in prohibiting me to finish my mural,” Gonzales said.
“La Marcha por la Humanidad” was moved to the bookstore in the New UC in January without the addition.