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August 20, 2001

Three generations work to restore mural

Attention Editors: Photo Opportunity

Estaban Villa utilizes bright primary colors to revitalize his panel of the Southside Park Mural, which during the past 26 years has been tagged with graffiti.The flyboys are at it again! The founding members of the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF) - all with close ties to California State University, Sacramento - have touched down at Southside Park to restore the park's mural.

During the past 26 years the mural has been tagged with graffiti and the group will be working at the park, located at the corner of 7th and T streets, from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, from Aug. 20 - 31.

Retired CSUS professors José Montoya and Esteban Villa, CSUS alumni Juanishi Orosco and Stan Padilla and executive director of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco Lorraine Garcia have joined forces with three generations of CSUS Barrio Art students, Southside neighborhood residents and their own children and grandchildren to re-paint the mural on the concrete walls of Southside Park's amphitheater.

In the early 1970s, the RCAF and Centro de Artistas Chicanos began to use Southside Park for community-wide activities. They created the mural to celebrate the long-standing Mexican/Chicano presence in the Southside neighborhood of Sacramento.

The Southside Park mural is significant because it was one of the most visible RCAF murals. The park is still used for community events that draws as many as 10,000 participants at a time.

Juanishi Orosco and Jose  Montoya mix paints before they begin work on  refurbishing the Southside Park Mural.RCAF is an artist collective whose members are nationally recognized masters of Chicano/Mexican art. RCAF artists have worked on large-scale community projects such as murals, print production and educational workshops in the Sacramento Region. Additionally, the group offers free art classes, operates a free breakfast program for children and runs a bookstore and gallery.

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