Colossus
Colossus (1975, 1989)
Tomas Castañeda, Mano Lima,
Laura Manzano, Mario Torero


statue of soldier
soldier from Mexican Revolution (1910-1920)


mural
(unidentified)
Chicano Park, San Diego, California
(at the intersection of the 5 Fwy. & Coronado Bay Bridge, beneath the bridge)

Politically and culturally monumental, Chicano Park was born on April 22, 1970, in the neighborhood of Barrio Logan. It is San Diego's Historical Site #143. Though I had heard and read a lot about it and had spoken with master muralist Victor Ochoa before, I had never visited Chicano Park and my visit this time was accidental. In fact, I had to walk into the adjacent César Chávez campus office to explain that I was lost and to ask the staff how to get back on the freeway to Los Angeles. The park visit was an unexpected birthday gift to myself, and looking back I felt like I was led there, especially after I looked at a map of San Diego and wondered how I ended up in that particular area of Aztlán.

Looking at these photographs, you can almost feel the tremendous weight bearing down on the pillars and the land beneath them, which is summarized artistically by the 1975 mural Colossus.

Related Links
Chicano Park and the Chicano Park Murals: Barrio Logan, City of San Diego, California, by Martin D. Rosen and James D. Fisher. Fall 2001. The Public Historian 23(4): 91-111. Posted online at Caliber: Journals of the University of California Press's site.
Chicano Park-Logan Heights in A History of Mexican Americans in California, Historic Sites on National Register of Historic Places website.
Chicano Park Steering Committee, San Diego. They are plannng the 40th celebration of Chicano Park on April 22, 2010. There is a map of the murals on this site.
The History of Chicano Park, Barrio Logan, San Diego. For more information about the history and meanings of some of the murals.
Murals of Chicano Park, photographs by Walter O. Koenig with muralist Salvador R. Torres as consultant.
A Turning Point: The Conception and Realization of Chicano Park, by Kevin Delgado

Photos copyright © March 2008 Kat Avila
Time of Day: Late afternoon. Not a good time if you're photographing beneath a bridge, because you need the light. I ended up with muddy-looking colors. I was able to bring out detail in shadowed areas in Photoshop; it was either that or lose the photograph.
Camera: HP Photosmart M415. I shot at too low a resolution, which made close-ups from the originals come out blurred.
Notes: I shot the kiosk from every angle but missed the Founding of Mexico City mural on its ceiling. Also, if there are two dates listed for a mural, the second year is the date of renovation, which may or may not have been done by the same artist. Identification of the murals is an ongoing challenge for me.
Near the César Chávez Campus, San Diego Continuing Education, 1960 National Avenue, which is next to Chicano Park, if not in it.
Cesar Chavez campus
César Chávez campus sign
Nacimiento del Parque Chicano
Nacimiento del Parque
Chicano
(Birth of Chicano Park),
Astrological Mural (1978, 1997)
Dolores Serrano-Velez
(Salvador & Gloria Torres, 1997)
mural O.G. Mural
O.G. Mural (1978)
Octavio Gonzalez
Chicanas/Escuelas
Chicanas/Escuelas (1978)
(Chicanas/Schools)
Yolanda Lopez &
Mujeres Muralistas de
San Diego
Chicano Park Public Restroom Murals (1997)
park restroom murals
southwest view
park restroom murals
"BARRIOS UNIDOS LOGAN"
(united neighborhoods Logan)
west wall
park restroom murals
north wall
park restroom murals
north wall
park restroom murals
close-up on north wall
Kiosko (also spelled "quiosco," "kiosco;" trans. "kiosk") at the center of Chicano Park
kiosk
west side
kiosk
west side
soldadera
La Adelita* (1978)
Felipe Adame
*woman soldier from
Mexican Revolution
kiosk
west side
kiosk
west side
kiosk
southwest side

Aztec Warrior (1978)
Felipe Adame
Aztec Warrior
Aztec Warrior (1978)
Felipe Adame
kiosk
southeast side

Sueño Serpiente (Dream
Serpent) is on the left side.
Soccoro Gamboa (designer),
F. Adame, R. Lucero (1978);
F. Adame, L. Manzano (1991)
kiosk
north side
kiosk
northwest side

"Frida Kahlo" is the name
on the woman's shirt.


La Virgen de Guadalupe (1978; trans. The Virgin of Guadalupe), Mario Torero and the Lomas Youth Crew
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Sp. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) is the patron saint of Roman Catholic Mexico; she is viewed by some scholars as a distant relative of Coatlicue. The Virgin Mary appeared before the baptized and renamed peasant Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City requesting that a church be built there; formerly the locale was a place of worship for the earth goddess Tonantzin. Our Lady provided proof of Diego's incredible tale with her dark-skinned image imprinted on his cape and a fresh bouquet of out-of-season flowers (or non-native roses) to present to disbelieving church officials. December 12 is celebrated as her feast day.
La Virgen de Guadalupe
looking from west to east
La Virgen de Guadalupe La Virgen de Guadalupe La Virgen de Guadalupe La Virgen de Guadalupe
Other West-Facing Murals (looking from west to east of Chicano Park)
mural mural La Tierra Mia
"LA TIERRA MÍA" (My Land)
on National Avenue
murals
on Logan Avenue
Death of Farm Worker
Death of Farm Worker (1979)
M. Schnorr, S. Yamagata
Lowrider Council Mural
San Diego Lowrider Council
Mural
(1978) on Logan Ave.
Lowrider Council Mural
San Diego Lowrider Council
Mural
(1978) on Logan Ave.
Mural in Chicana Park
Mural in Chicana* Park
(1997), Berenice Bedillo
*feminine form
The Archer
The Archer (1987)
Vidal Aguirre
The Archer
The Archer (1987)
Vidal Aguirre
murals mural
"BROWN IMAGE"
Mujer Cosmica
Mujer Cosmica (1975)
(Cosmic Woman)
Eleben Villa, Ricardo Favela
Cosmic Clowns
Cosmic Clowns (1974)
"Felipon" Barbosa,
Tomás Castañeda, Pablo
de la Rosa, Mario Torero
Female Intelligence
Female Inteligencia Mural
(1975) (aka Women Hold Up
Half of Heaven)
R. Balaciosos, T. Barbosa,
A. Mendoza, C. Rodriguez,
B. Desmangles, & volunteers
Tree of Life
Tree of Life (1974, 1992)
Felipe Adame, Guillermo
Aranda, Arturo Roman
Tree of Life
Tree of Life (1974, 1992)
Felipe Adame, Guillermo
Aranda, Arturo Roman
Colossus
Colossus (1975, 1989)
Tomás Castañeda, Mano Lima,
Laura Manzano, Mario Torero
Children's Mural
Children's Mural (1973, 1986)
Victor Ochoa & Lowell
Elementary School
bird


Historical Mural (1973, 1988) on the east side of Chicano Park
Toltecas en Aztlán & University of California, Irvine's MEChA
Historical Mural Historical Mural Historical Mural Historical Mural
It says "LA LOGAN" within
the circle, a reference to
Barrio Logan.
Historical Mural
"RAZA SÍ! MIGRA NO!"
(Yes to the people!
No to immigration raids!)
Coatlicue (1978), Susan Yamagata (designer) and Michael Schnorr; looking from east to west
"She of the Serpent Skirt" is the Mexican (specifically Aztec) version of Mother Earth. She bore 400 stellar sons (the Centzonhuitznahuac), the lunar goddess Coyolxauhqui, and the solar and war god Huitzilopochtli.
Coatlicue Coatlicue Coatlicue Coatlicue Coatlicue
"COATLICUE,
DIOSA DE LA TIERRA
• EARTH GODDESS"
Other East-Facing Murals (looking from east to west of Chicano Park)
Decades
Decades of Chicano Movement
Manuel Parsons
Birth of La Raza
Renacimiento
(Birth of La Raza) (1974, 1992)
Grupo de Santana
Birth of La Raza
Renacimiento
(Birth of La Raza) (1974, 1992)
Grupo de Santana
La Familia
La Familia (1975)
(The Family)
José Montoya and the
Royal Chicano Air Force
mural
mural mandala
Inlakesh (1975)
(aka Mandala Mural)
Juanishi Orosco and the
Royal Chicano Air Force
mural
The title on the book
is Chicano Art History.
mural
west-facing side
Varrio Logan
Varrio Logan (1978)
Victor Ochoa and
Barrio Renovation Team
Mexican History
Mexican History (1978)
Victor Ochoa and
students
Mexican History
Mexican History (1978)
Victor Ochoa and
students
Che Guevara
Che [Guevara] (1978)
Victor Ochoa
(mural on the right)
Varrio Si
¡Varrio Sí, Yonkes No!
(1977, 1989)
(Barrio Yes, Junkyards No!)
R.J. Jacquez, A. Millan,
V. Ochoa, A. Rodriguez,
(& V. Aguirre in 1989)
Varrio Si bird Justicia
Chicano Pinto Union (1978)
T. Vargas

"JUSTICIA PARA LAS PINTOS"
(justice for the inmates)
Justicia mural
Mi Raza Primero (1993)
(My People First)
Mario Torero (designer)
and paint crew
Across the Street Along Logan Avenue (East Side)
murals
Quetzalcóatl (1973, 1987)
on the left and Sunburst
(1986) on the right.
Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcóatl (1973, 1987)
Toltecas en Aztlán &
El Congreso de Artistas
Chicanos en Aztlán

A left-facing swastika,
yin-yang symbol, and
UFW eagle can be seen.
Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcóatl (1973, 1987)
Toltecas en Aztlán &
El Congreso de Artistas
Chicanos en Aztlán

The swastika is a sacred
symbol in many cultures,
though a right-facing swastika
now brings Nazism to mind.
Sunburst
Sunburst (1986)
Tony de Vargas
Corazon/Aztlan
Corazón/Aztlán (1975, 1989)
is on the left side.
Corazon/Aztlan
Corazón/Aztlán (1975, 1989)
Various artists have worked on
this; the 1989 renovation was
done by Salvador Torres.
mural mural mural mural
mural column column cat cat
Across the Street Along National Avenue (West Side)
murals Why Us
¿Por Qué Nosotros? (1996)
(Why Us?)
Mario Torero (designer)
Co-sponsored by Environmental
Health Coalition.
Why Us
reverse side of
¿Por Qué Nosotros? (1996)
(Why Us?)
Save Barrio Logan
Save Barrio Logan (1996)
Mario Torero (designer)
Co-sponsored by Environmental
Health Coalition.
Save Barrio Logan
reverse side of
Save Barrio Logan

"TÓXICOS FUERA DEL BARRIO"
(poisons out of the barrio)
Revolución Mexicana (1985), Victor Ochoa Murals by the fountain
Revolucion Mexicana Revolucion Mexicana mural mural mural
Fountain (year?), Raúl Jacquez and Armando Nuñez
Fountain
east-facing side
Fountain
east-facing side

east-facing side
Fountain
west-facing side
Fountain
west-facing side