JUANA ALICIA ARAIZA
ARTIST STATEMENT AND BIOGRAPHY
“I am a muralist, print maker, educator, activist and painter who loves to draw. I have been teaching for twenty-five years, working in many areas of education, from community organizing to migrant and bilingual education to arts education, from kindergarten to graduate school levels.
I feel that it is my responsibility as an artist to be an activist for social justice, human rights and environmental health, and I see the work of parenting and teaching akin to being an artist. I began working as an artist in my teens, coming of age in the human rights movements that included the United Farm Workers and that protested the war in Vietnam.
I work in many forms and traditions, with a particular dedication to the fresco buono, an ancient painting technique that, practiced all over the world, has endured many centuries. The majority of my public works are in the Bay Area, but I have also painted murals in other parts of the world, including Managua, Nicaragua. Some of my works are individual and others are collaborative.
I make murals with groups because of the learning that process provides me. It forces me to think and see from other minds and eyes, and to stretch my emotional capacities and communication skills. I also learn new techniques from other muralists and artisans. Naturally, a group or collaborative process allows one to take on a more monumental work and lightens the burden that the individual artist would also have to bear, vis a vis community relations, administration, documentation and the actual execution of the work. No matter whether the work is solo or collaborative, it gives me great joy to contribute to the urban environments in an effort to humanize our public spaces.”
JUANA ALICIA has been painting murals and teaching for thirty years. Her sculptural and painted public works can be seen in Nicaragua, Mexico, Pennsylvania and in many parts of California, most notably in San Francisco.
JUANA ALICIA has taught mural painting, art history, and social history and theory at San Francisco State University, Stanford University, and the University of California at Davis and Santa Cruz. She co-founded and co-directed the East Bay Institute for Urban Arts. She is currently full-time faculty at Berkeley City College, and directs the True Colors Mural Project, a public arts program.
Some of her recent murals include SANARTE at U.C.S.F. Medical Center, SANTUARIO (with Emmanuel Montoya) at the San Francisco International Airport, LA LLORONA’S SACRED WATERS at 24th and York Streets in the Mission of San Francisco, and GEMELOS (with Araiza) at the Metropolitan Technical University in Mérida, Mexico. Her newest work, HUEHUETLATOLI: WISDOM OF THE ELDERS, is slated for installation at University and Sacramento in Berkeley, California.
For more info, please see the website: juanaalicia.com
Blessing Ceremony for True Colors Mural at Mi Tierra Foods [http://www.flickr.com/photos/pueblonuevo/5088012967/]
Flickr Library: http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=juana+alicia&m=text
True Colors Mural Project: http://truecolorsmuralproject.wordpress.com/