« Back to "Professors" Page

Somos La Luz, 1992, Charles "Chaz" Bojórquez

Whose Art? The public art process

Latino artists have been at the forefront of the public art movement in the United States since the first mural movements of the 1960s.  Steeped in the traditions of Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueros, and José Clemente Orozco, Chicano artists used murals to create community and express culture in a new country.  At the same time, graffiti art emerged from urban gang culture to challenge the “art by committee” nature of murals.  These two groups, historically in conflict, have learned much from each other.  More recently, contemporary Latino artists have produced a third form of public art, public sculpture, challenging traditions to create thought-provoking works.

In this lesson, students will engage in the debate that exists between these three forms and decide for themselves what public art should be and who should be in control.  An exploration of public art addresses issues of public space, community, immigration, inspiriation, and the process of art.

Visual Art, grades 6-8