Artist protests declined mural extension


Mario Gonzales was one of the artists of the painting “La Marcha por la Humanidad.” Now, he wants to expand it. | Courtesy of

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.

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  • I’m not an art expert, but based on the picture in the article, maybe it’s a good thing he wasn’t granted the extension. I’d guess the bookstore wasn’t really so happy about being stuck with the old mural though…

  • I understand the Mario Gonzales painted the mural but the mural stopped being his property and came to represent the UH community’s as a whole years ago. It is fair to point out that UH is a PUBLIC university with a large cultural diversity that is funded by taxpayers throughout the whole state. Adding “En los Manos de Dios (In the Hands of God)” will only create unnecessary controversy at the University of Houston.

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