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Our Legacy: Forever Presente

José Antonio Aguirre
Artwork Type
Media & Support
Glass, limestone
64 ft.x 34 ft.* (19.5 x 10.4 m)
Public Library
East Los Angeles Library
4837 East 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA
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Latitude: -118.159721 - Longitude: 34.034040
Image: Our Legacy: Forever Presente

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José Antonio Aguirre’s monumental mural Our Legacy: Forever Presente... was commissioned by former First District County Supervisor Molina for the East Los Angeles Library. Aguirre’s vibrant four-part mural covers more than 2,000 square feet of wall space with Byzantine and Venetian glass mosaic with carved limestone inside and outside the west and east towers of the library’s main entrance. The mural is articulated in four movements: “The Gift to Humanity," “Arrival," “The Heart of the People" and “Departure.” Throughout each cycle, iconic images representing significant East Los Angeles public leaders, social and political figures, actors, artists and athletes are depicted. The figures include Edward James Olmos, Congressman Esteban Torres, Congressman Edward Roybal, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Ruben Salazar, David Alvaro Siqueiros, Self-Help Graphics Founder Sister Karen Boccalero, Anthony Quinn, Antonia Hernandez, Supervisor Gloria Molina and Oscar De La Hoya. In the words of the artist, “I have created a visual image filled with symbolic elements of duality, history and social consciousness to provoke, question, offer definition and provide recognition of the rich, bi-cultural identity that binds the East Los Angeles community.”

About the Artist

Bi-national artist José Antonio Aguirre earned a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a studio artist, he has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions. As a public artist, he has executed nearly 30 works in California, Illinois, Texas and Mexico City. Throughout his art career, he has been active as an installation artist, visual arts educator and cultural journalist for Spanish publications in Chicago, Los Angeles, Texas and Mexico. In March 2010 José was awarded the prestigious J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Award to Mexico. Fulbright is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world, supported for more than half a century by the American people through an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress and by the people of partner nations. José Antonio Aguirre resides in Pasadena, California.