Representing the fields of mural restoration, Chicano muralists, Art Consultants,  Chicano Art Educatiors, Archivists, Community Health organizers, Arts organizers and Civic leaders.

Cassidy Fritz

Artist, Muralist, Mural Renovator, Community Arts and Youth Leader,  Sananato Arts, San Antonio Texas

Cassidy Fritts is a muralist and illustrator residing and working in San Antonio, TX. In addition to being an artist, Fritts works with non-profit organizations focusing on empowering youth voice on a number of topics through art, advocacy, and community outreach.

Mural Design with Polytab: Thursday @ 12:00pm

Introducing San Antonio Cultural Arts: Saturday @ 10:15am

Carlos Callejo

Artist, Chicano Muralist and Renovator, Community Mural Activist,  Los Angeles California 

eeeWho are my mentors? Once I started coming right out of high school, and actually during high school, I was being exposed to your Tres Grandes; Orozco, Siqueiros, and Rivera. I was growing up with a lot of other artists. I started being influenced by other artists. Some of them would be considered my peers, so in some ways we were feeding off each other. The Streetscapers, David Botello, Wayne Healey, Judy Baca, Willie Herrón; we were sort of learning off of each other. Some of them may be more my maestros, but no I think they were more my peers because we were learning off of each other.

Chicano Murals and the Educational Environment: Saturday @ 1:00pm

Charting A Path for Artist Sovereignty: Sunday @ 9:00am

Berenice Badillo

Art Therapist, Doctor, Chicano Park Muralist, Lover, Dreamer, Community Activist

Berenice Badillo is a Chicano Park muralist, community artist, and a Registered Art Therapist certified in EMDR. Berenice painted her second painting ever with house wall paint from her home, because that’s all she could afford, on a pillar at Chicano Park at the young age of 17, a dream inspired at the age of 14. Berenice’s story is an inspiring testimony of the power of art, love and determination in the Chicano Movement crossing generations with a fierce will to express her unique reflection of hope and personal vulnerability.

Today, Berenice provides supervision to interns/trainees, individual, family and group therapy services. Berenice works as a mental health counselor at MiraCosta College, is a professor and researcher and provides art therapy workshops to veterans  at The Museum of Contemporay Art San Diego.  She is an immigrant from La Piedad, Michoacán, Mexico and has found herself straddling the many worlds of intertwined cultural and subcultural identities throughout her life. Berenice has worked in communities of socioeconomic need and has extensive experience in working with people on issues of depression, complex trauma, bereavement, drug and alcohol use,

Salvador Queso Torres

ARtivist, Chicano Muralists, Community Arts Educator

Salvador Roberto “Queso” Torres, born in 1936, spent the majority of his first six years on a cotton plantation in Northern California-remembering using the “short hoe” as he worked alongside his parents in the fields at this very young age. In 1942, the Torres family started a new life in Barrio Logan. It is at this time that his experiences formed close to heart his dedication to the community, as his home was one of dozens that were bulldozed to make way for the construction of the Coronado Bridge. Torres chose to take on the challenge of “making something tragic into something beautiful”, and thus began a life time of work and dedication to the creation of incredible mural art, the transformation of Chicano Park, and to Barrio Logan.

 Torres has constructed 6 major murals in San Diego, as well as facilitated the creation and application of a majority of murals, most notably those found in Chicano Park. Described as “the most important Mexican American artist and Chicano Activist of his generation” by Jorge Mariscal, Prof. of Literature at UCSD, Torres ‘s track record includes picketing and marching for farm worker’s rights, teaching art and mural art to children, and of being the creator of one of the most recognized symbols of Chicano/Chicana Civil Rights Movement-the “Viva La Raza” series with the image of a red phoenix rising.

Ground Floor Murals

Signe Ditona and Paul Jiminez have been cultivating art since 2020, striving to give back to the communities that raised them.

Paul Jimenez and Signe Ditona, the couple who make up Ground Floor Murals, are huge animal lovers and advocates who value giving back to the community through their art, so when the opportunity to create a piece of art for an organization like the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility came up, they jumped on the opportunity.

Carlos Quezada

ARtivist, Chicano Muralists, Community Arts Educator

Carlos has been working diligently for years to celebrate and revitalize the diverse east San Diego neighborhood of City Heights. He’s the driving force behind the “drive-through art gallery” on University Avenue between I-805 and I-15 that I’ve blogged about for a couple of years now.

Carlos has brought many great artists and muralists together with school students and community businesses and organizations to paint a picture in City Heights of a bright now and even brighter future. It’s amazing how one positive, energetic person can have a tremendous impact on their community!

Sal Barajas

ARtivist, Chicano Muralists, Community Arts Educator

One of the first artists to paint at The Centro Cultural and Barrio Logan’s Chicano Park, Sal Barajas has contributed his talents in professional art direction, painting and graphic design services to the Centro and the local Chicano Cultural Movement for over 50 years. 

In 2012, almost 40 years after the first murals were painted at Chicano Park, the Chicano Park Steering Committee received a grant of $1.6 million to restore the oldest murals of this public space, which were in terrible condition. The restoration of these murals was very close to being put up for solicitation companies outside Barrio Logan until Barajas presented a proposal to Caltrans.  “I took to making the technical manual to restore the murals. In fact, I presented a prototype of the manual to Caltrans representatives and their mouth dropped,” Barajas recalled.

Barajas, along with four of the original artists were commissioned to restore the murals of Barrio Logan. All work done on these outdoor paintings was carried out under Barajas’ technical guide.

Mario Torero

ARtivist, Chicano Muralists, Community Arts Educator

Mario Torero is an artist and activist, most known over the last fifty years for an extensive body of socially conscious mural work produced in different cities throughout the United States and around the world. With a long history of involvement in local and global arts and progressive movements, Mario has become an iconic Chicano artist with deep roots in the San Diego cultural arts community. Torero is a co-founder of San Diego’s Chicano Park. He has contributed more than twenty standing murals and three sculptures; other murals devoted to social awareness continue to appear in different parts of the county. Working as a community muralist, he always begins his work in a space by blessing the earth where he stands, the ancestors who came before on the land, and the ancestors of all the immigrant peoples who come from all of the cultures that mix together to become us, the mixed-race Raca of Chicanos, Blacks, whites, Filipinos, etc.  His approach in co-creating artworks in the neighborhoods and spaces where he is invited helps manifest a shared reflective vision of an identity brewing below the surface of the concrete. Mario is also a founding and continuing member of Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park and was a co-founding board member and Arts Commissioner for the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. Over the years, he has led several national and international artistic and cultural exchanges. 

Annette Ridenour

President Aesthetics, Inc. Co- Founder National Organization of ARts and Health

Annette has been a leader in health care design for 30+ years as president and founder of Aesthetics, Inc., her multidisciplinary design firm. She has been described as a practical visionary for her ability to combine explorative thought with strategic thinking focused upon implantation. She has been putting murals in hospitals around the US for over 40 years as an art consultant. She has written thousands of contracts for artists working in the environment of healthcare which has many regulations regarding materials, the longevity of interior environments and OSHA laws. She has studied VARA and California laws protecting artists rights and has assembled best practices for artists.

Sarah Bella Mondragon

Multi-Media Event Producer, Web Designer, Producer

Sarah Bella Mondragon is a multimedia artist, activist, and digital storyteller. She is the artistic instigator behind the Our Walls Speak Event. The mission of the Barrio Artists Coalition is to sponsor events, festivals, and exchanges between arts and culture organizations whose stages are street corners, yes, that includes street parades. Sarah works as a freelance project manager, arts administrator, and web media designer for several local nonprofit Arts organizations, including Mundo Gallery and Gente Unida, a human rights organization focusing on the San Diego/Tijuana border region. She produced the podcast Buen Hombre, Magnificent Mujer for Gente Unida. Sarah grew up in the neighborhood adjacent to Logan Heights, Golden Hill, supporting local nonprofit arts and environmental organizations by bringing different organizations together to share resources and find common ground. Last fall, she worked with artists Mario Torero, Sal Barajas, and Salvador “Queso” Torres to negotiate with San Diego City Schools to prevent the further destruction of murals. She collaborated with the Logan Heights CDC to create a safe and neutral territory for different parts of the Logan Heights Community to express their opinions. Sarah Bella Mondragon has worked with arts and culture organizations in Central America and Brazil and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. She is also a spoken word poet and Capoeira Brazilian Martial Arts teacher. 

Register Now!

This event is free and open to the public. We request that you RSVP and register online so that we can accomadate guests and participants. Refreshments and boxed lunches will be available for presale and at the event. Also recordings and transcripts of the event will be made available for purhase.

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