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Acclaimed muralist, Manuel Unzueta, set to receive congressional, city honors tonight at SBCC

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Internationally acclaimed artist, director and muralist of artworks, Manuel Unzueta, will receive special recognition Thursday night at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) from the City of Santa Barbara and U.S. Representative Salud Carbajal.

The local artist and educator is being honored for his 50 years of artistic contributions. His first student-collaborative mural created on the SBCC campus will serve as the back-drop for Thursday's ceremony.

Unzueta's works embody iconic Chicano murals, the art and messages of Mexican-American activists, and incorporate haunting and powerful images of society and politics. SBCC's murals (there are several) are among those of his works inspired by the great muralists of Mexico City.

Unzueta said his artistic influence can be seen from Thousand Oaks to San Luis Obispo. He has also contributed to numerous artworks and murals, including Chicano Park and Barrio Logan in San Diego, but you won't always find his painted signature included.

Wednesday afternoon, he explained the meanings behind the SBCC mural sections.

"The main idea is to bring this mural that is called "Metamorphosis of Reality" that I painted with students from City College in 1976 and 1977, to life. And, it was meant to be strong, to have a lot of things about education because this is a college and people got to see what our college is all about."

Unzueta is also handing the artistic torch to a new group on campus -- Raices: First Year and Beyond!'

"Bringing this mural back to life, bring it back into the conversation of SBCC folks in the community," said Sergio A. Lagunas, SBCC Raices Program Coordinator. "It was really to highlight not only his legacy and life contributions, but also what could be the future of the representation of the new identity of Chicanx, Chicana, Latina students, right?"

Unzueta's murals also cover many of the walls in Ortega Park on Santa Barbara's Eastside and, at La Casa de la Raza at 601 E. Montecito St.

Thursday's ceremony at SBCC begins at 6:00 p.m. outside the Student Services building on the East Campus. Unzueta is scheduled to give a talk following, at 6:45 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Beth Farnsworth

Beth Farnsworth is the evening anchor for KEYT News Channel 3. To learn more about Beth, click here


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