United We Stand
● By Jessie Monsivais
The latest Corpus Christi murals, Que Viva Garcia and Latinos Unidos, come from Mayra Zamora’s creative vision rooted in Latin culture. Latinos Unidos pays homage to Latinx countries such as, Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Brazil, and many more.
The murals, designed by Mayra and painted with the help of teens from the Teens Building For Tomorrow program, adorns one of the walls at the Antonio E. Garcia Arts & Education Center with various colors from the flags of Latin countries.
“I drew inspiration from prior paintings and the mural at Fresco. For Latinos Unidos, I wanted to pay homage to all of the Latinx countries, people living in America, and immigrants coming to the States,” she says proudly when asked about the mural's origin story.
Using a reference photo, from the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, of Antonio E. Garcia for Que Viva Garcia, Mayra and fellow artist, Eugene Soliz, painted the portrait of the historical, local artist who fled from Mexico to the U.S. during the Mexican Revolution.
Mayra explains how the stripes behind Antonio E. Garcia represent both Mexico and America. “Mr. Garcia was an immigrant himself, fleeing Monterrey, Mexico. On his brush, there is a hidden statement Arte es Vida because I believe Art is Life. It’s meant to look as if Mr. Garcia is painting the mural, as he, himself was an artist,” she continues.
The students from the Teens Build for Tomorrow program and Mayra had the month of June to complete the mural during the weekdays. The program provides youth from ages 13 – 17 an opportunity to gain social skills, education on mental health and more, and obtain volunteer service hours during the summer break. They completed the mural on June 27, 2019.
“As immigration is a hot topic right now, I wanted my students to tell me what they think about our current status as a country,” expresses Mayra. “After all, America is the land of immigrants.”
Mayra describes what the aspect of mural projects she loves most most being the opportunity for collaboration, creating lifetime memories, and for the students to look back when they are adults and feel proud of themselves and the murals they helped create.
“The advice I give all of my students is to make sure they choose a path that is going to make them happy in the end.” Because after all, that's what truly matters.
You can check out more of Mayra's work on Instagram at @miramayraart