Irvine Valley College ain't exactly thought of as a Chicano mural stronghold, but it's one of the many places in Orange County that hosts a mural by legendary artist Emigdio Vasquez–a 40'x8' beauty called La Educación y El Trabajo (Education and Work). And, unlike the rest of OC–which keeps letting the maestro's work fade away or tries to criminalize it–IVC cares enough about its treasure to not only take care of their Vasquez mural, but to restore it, and rededicate it in a ceremony this Thursday.
From the official flackage:
The mural is known as "La Educacion y El Trabajo," and was completed in 1992. It depicts a realistic group of workers, teachers and students, and looks as if Vasquez's models were real persons. In an interview he once said, "I consider myself a social realist painter because I like to paint the world around me–an environment constructed of the human and urban experiences of working class people. Through my art I want to convey a powerful sense of the human struggle for dignity within the urban experiences of 20th Century America."
Emigdio's son "Higgy" assisted his father in painting the mural in 1992, and was recently asked by IVC to perform some restoration work on the piece while it was still hanging in its original location on campus, a hallway in the B 100 building. While restoring the work, Higgy also applied a protective varnish coating over the entire mural, before it was moved to the College Library and installed in a gorgeous skylighted space in the main reading area.
Higgy and his sister Rosemary will be there to talk about their father's work. Also giving a short speech? Legendary Fullerton College Chicano Studies professor Jerry Padilla, making a rare, non-classroom appearance.
All this happens 3 pm THIS THURSDAY at the College Library of Irvine Valley College, 5500 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine. Park in Lot 5 for the FREE parking, then follow the signs. See you there!