Urban Art in San Diego – Murals at Chicano Park

Since I have been to Mexico I love murales or murals. They are so expressive and so story-telling. When I had the opportunity to see some of these in San Diego, California, I was all enthusiastic.

Murals – like the word already suggests – are paintings directly on a wall (mural=Spanish for wall). What makes them so special is that they are incorporated into the architectural elements. I think that is what I am doing when painting in my house straight on the walls to decorate and transform the room with paintings.

Murals can be found already in the Paleolithic period. Egypt is famous for murals in the ancient tombs and of course don’t forget Pompeii with it’s colorful murals, oftentimes depicting intimate scenes.

They are all over the world, oftentimes decorating palaces, tombs and churches. Frescoes in Italy show all the beauty of this art and millions of tourists visit every year the country just to see those amazing paintings.

I have seen a lot in Mexico and so I was curious to see them here in San Diego where Mexican culture is everywhere. And I found exactly what I expected: Mexican style telling the history of the indigenous and Spanish.

Chicano Park is situated near to the Coronado Bridge in Barrio Logan. It was originally inhabited by Mexican-Americans and Mexican refugees of the Mexican Revolution in the beginning of the last century.

The first murals appeared already during the years but the real ‘park’ was born only in 1973. Victor Ochoa of the Chicano Park Steering Committee bought 300 brushes for 300 people to decorate pillars and walls.

There are different themes like Mexican history, immigration, indigenous history, females, Mexican-Americans, Chicanos and more. While the first murals where only finished after a couple of years, in 1978 there was a mural marathon of 21 days where 10.000 sf were covered with paintings.

I was amazed by all those beautiful colors and stories I could see. They are everywhere, every column and every wall, stairs.. everything seems to be covered by light and emotions of people living here. Such a wonderful way to express ones feelings and thoughts, telling stories and history.

They are different to the ones I saw in Mexico years ago but have the same power of expression.

I hope I will have the possibility to go there again when they are doing some events as well. It is like diving into another world… A must-see when in San Diego!

And here are more paintings I saw:

Chicano Park, San Diego, California/USA:

For further information:
The Chicano Park in San Diego

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