El Centro COVID Memorial Mural

Ernesto Yerena Montejano
739 N. Imperial Avenue, El Centro

Pregancy_Breastfeeding Inforgraphic

Project overview

Featuring a portrait of a young woman wearing a mask, the mural is based on a photograph of the artists sister-in-law, a health care worker living and working in El Centro. Different types of flowers are painted around the portrait to symbolize remembrance of those lost to COVID-19, change, and new beginnings. The mural is painted in colors and patterns that are synonymous with the Latinx community. Harm reduction messaging is written in Spanish-and English-language at the right side of the mural, where  residents have begun inscribing notes to loved ones they’ve lost during the pandemic.

Artist bio

Ernesto Yerena Montejano was born in El Centro, CA, a mid- sized farming town bordering Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. Fueled by his cross-national upbringing, his art practice reflects his observations of the views and interactions between the Mexican communities living on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The artist shares narratives of his conflicts of identity that he feels are kindred to what many Chicanos of these communities experience.  Although Yerena identifies as Chicano he also strongly identifies as Native/Indigenous to this continent which is often seen in his work. His work depicts his frustrations with the oppression in his community as well as creating work in solidarity with the community in the defense of  dignity and rights. Through his imagery, the artist brings political concerns to light with subject matter that depicts cultural icons, rebels and everyday people voicing their stance against oppression.  In 2008 Yerena created the Hecho Con Ganas publishing project in which he produces politically and socially conscious images that are produced in limited edition silkscreen prints.  Highly recognized for his activism, Yerena is the founder and curator of the Alto Arizona Art campaign (2010) as well as a founding member of the We Are Human campaign (2009).  Yerena has collaborated on many thought provoking projects which include artists Zack de la Rocha, Shepard Fairey, Manu Chao, Ana Tijoux, Philip Lumbang, Jaque Fragua, Diane Ovalle, Chuck D, and Mochilla.

Follow the artist

hechoconganas.com    @ernestoyerena

Ernesto Yerena Standing Strong Project Hi Res.

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