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Exhibit explores Chicano heritage

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Works by artists Mario Chacon, Victor Ochoa, Ligma and Armando Nunez were among those featured at the dA Center For the Arts in Pomona. The art was centered around Chicano heritage. The gallery held a reception Saturday night for the “Chicano Park Muralists in Pomona Con Safos” exhibit, which runs through Oct. 30. / photo by Hailey Martinez

Neidenne Arevalo
Staff Writer 

The exhibition “Chicano Park Muralists in Pomona Con Safos,” which explores the history and roots of Chicano heritage through the art of 15 mural artists and two photographers from Chicano Park in San Diego, is on display now at the dA center in Pomona.

The artists discussed their work during an opening reception Saturday.

Featured artist Tina Wimer’s acrylic portrait “Ixchel” stood out with its vibrant colors and relaxed yet stimulating tone. Wimer’s painting connected with Mayan culture and many Mexican-American women that have home altars. 

Arlene Payan and Jon Beverly from Pomona admire artwork, including an anti-ICE mural by Cindy Rocha, at the “Chicano Park Muralists in Pomona Con Safos” exhibit Saturday at the dA Center for the Arts in Pomona. The gallery held an open reception for the exhibit, which features 17 San Diego area artists and photographers and runs through Oct. 30. / photo by Hailey Martinez

Sara Saldaña, daughter of photographer Pete Gonzales  shared how her father just recently got into photography a few years back and had to come show support through this event. 

“His passion has brought many things to me and to my family, like Chicano Park and all that,” Saldaña said. “Those are things I didn’t know about growing up and so through photography and what he’s done with the culture I’ve been introduced to it.”

Gonzales’ photography was distributed in the gallery and he was one out of the two photographers displaying their work in The dA Center For The Arts. 

Esteban Orilo from Los Angeles influenced Gonzales to begin photography through his ability to show the real world and nothing staged, just raw photographs of the truth of the rough areas in Los Angeles. 

“I was given a camera, one thing led to another,” Gonzales said. “I began walking the streets of Los Angeles for three years and started taking pictures of things other people didn’t, I wanted to show the world what’s really happening and that was the only way I knew I could.” 

Gonzales said he does not sell his photographs, he keeps them all because they are priceless to him. Instead, he shares his photography on Instagram @gonzales.pete with whoever finds interest in it. 

“God gave me everything I need and my passion for photography has grown and grown,” Gonzales said. “I shoot what my eyes tell me to see that other people don’t see.” 

Gonzalez said that he wants his pictures to evoke emotion in the people who are viewing them.

Brayan Baez, a local from Pomona said he frequently visits downtown Pomona for the art walk that occurs once every other month. 

“I was at the bar around the corner and the dA Center For The Arts is always closed when I pass by, but today I saw they were finally open and I wanted to check it out,” Baez said.

“Border Wall Speaks” by Cindy Rocha has such a strong presence in the exhibition, the use of vibrant colors painted on each cardboard letter wrapped in wire told a story of its own. 

“I’m into photography and I’m looking forward to seeing the work of the photographers being showcased in this gallery,” Pablo Muñoz, a local of downtown Pomona said. 

Roberto Pozos was featured in this gallery as an artist that works in many mediums. He is a graphic designer, art director, painter, photographer, mural artist and much more. 

Pozos has always had an interest in art from a very early age in his childhood, he pursued his passion by going to university and getting a degree in Art. He is very passionate about painting and his heritage. 

“The art that I put in this show is reflective of the passion I have for Chicano culture and Chicano Park,” Pozos said. “I believe we have a responsibility to follow our passion and in that process people will get educated themselves, people will capture the essence if the artist expresses themselves in a passionate way.” 

The passion is definitely visible through the art and photographs displayed in the show. 

Chicano culture was shared in such a timeless but eye opening way, for those who previously did not know much about Chicano history and were able to leave the show with a bit more understanding and knowledge.

“I hold the camera and God pushes the button,” Gonzales said.

Neidenne Arevalo can be reached at neidenne.arevalo@laverne.edu.

Neidenne Arevalo is a junior communications major with a concentration in public relations and a minor in American law.

Hailey Martinez is a junior journalism major with a photography minor. She is a staff writer for the Campus Times and a staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine.

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