The Public Forum … El Foro Público…
July 13, 2012
Woman muralists continue to be recognized
Great to see your Page-One coverage of Rita Sanchez’ “Mujeres Muralistas: Chicano Park Female artists” on June 29, 2012. I agree with you “her article is a needed reminder of the significant role of Chicano Park women.” To update her excellent historical overview I want to make some corrections and additions.
I spoke with Celia Herrera Rodriquez who painted the mural illustrating Sanchez’ article. She is currently working in Chicano Park to restore it. She told me that the mural’s correct and only title is Women Hold Up Half of the Sky. She also corrected the spelling of the names of the original artists to read Celia Herrera Rodriguez, Irma Lerma Barbosa, Antonia Perez, Rosalina Montez Palacios, and Barbara Desmangles. The source of these errors is the Chicano Park Mural Restoration Technical Manual, an otherwise excellent resource.
Rita Sanchez “proudly recognizes the women who have contributed to the Parque and its murals.” One she identifies is Laura Rodriguez, now deceased, who Sanchez writes has had “her image … painted in the park as a monument to her.” Carmen Kalo, Mario Torero and a youth group painted that mural monument in 1995. Kalo, who went on to paint a memorial “dedicated to the people that died during Operation Gatekeeper” in 2000, also deserves recognition for her mural work.
Yasue Sano received the City of San Diego Historical Resources Board’s 2012 Excellence in Historic Preservation “Cultural Landscape” Award. She was recognized along with over a dozen artists, activists and managers for their valuable support of the Restoration Project. She was the lead artist on the prisoners’ huelga (strike) segment of the collaborative restoration of Voz Libre (Pedro J. Gonzalez) mural.
For the last year a number of women have been working as team members restoring a variety of murals including Glory G. Sanchez (Aztec Archer and currently Women Hold Up Half of the Sky), Stephanie C. Cervantes, (Varrio Logan, In Lak‘ Ech, the ceiling of the Kiosko, Cuauhtémoc and currently Varrio Si Yonkes No), and Linda M. Velarde (Chicano Park Takeover).
I hope your readers will agree that we should all be proud of these women along with those identified in Rita Sanchez’ article, and recognize as well their contributions to the Parque and its murals.
Pearl Martinez of the Thomas and Pearl Martinez Foundation, a foundation that annually provides cash incentive awards to elementary school children in the South Bay in order to reward a job well done in school and to encourage the future efforts of these children, recently received a letter from a past incentive winner that Ms Martinez asked that we share with our readers, that reflects the positive aspect of these awards.
Dear Thomas and Pearl Martinez,
I am Emilio Martinez I am going to 8th grade. When I was in 6th grade, having my graduation I got the check you game and some other students. I wanted to tell you that I spent some money in school supplies and another part of the money in uniforms. My parents and I thank you a lot for that money. It helped us a lot in buying the supplies. I am sorry I didn’t send you card before but it was because I wanted to show you my grades for 7th grade. I really tried to get a straight A grade but almost got it. I hope you like my grades. Next year I will try to get a straight A grade. I hope you keep helping me because your help was very useful. My parents and I with all heart thank you for helping us. I hope you can send me back a letter.