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Rebeca Méndez
Artwork Type
Media & Support
Ink on cotton canvas
Public Library
Pico Rivera Library
9001 Mines Avenue
Pico Rivera, CA
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Latitude: -118.089244 - Longitude: 33.992021

Additional Images


The City of Pico Rivera and Los Angeles County partnered to fund the Pico Rivera Library with a site-specific civic artwork. The building is a focal point for the community, an architectural beacon for the City and a destination in the San Gabriel Valley. Similarly ambitious, the artwork, titled Journey into Knowledge, celebrates the role of the Library as a vehicle for exploration and discovery that leads to a journey into knowledge. Rebeca Méndez, created two original site-specific artworks at the Pico Rivera Library. These companion pieces place the city within a global context while honoring its distinct character. The two artworks remind us that through books, we can explore and experience what is beyond the physical.


Circumsolar, Migration 2 explores the library’s role as a vehicle for discovery beyond one’s present time and place. In her 2,000 square foot photographic mural, Méndez tells this story through the migratory path of the Arctic Tern, a species of seabird that flies an annual planetary journey from the Arctic to the Antarctic Circle and back. A variety of Terns find refuge in Pico Rivera’s Paseo del Rio at the Rio Hondo Spreading Grounds, connecting the Arctic Tern to the City of Pico Rivera, and Pico Rivera to rest of the world.

In April 2013, Méndez led El Rancho High School art students in a photo shoot at the Rio Hondo Spreading Grounds, which she had originally photographed for the mural. In addition to giving technical instruction, Méndez guided the students in finding the “poetry in a photograph.” One of the students, who regularly walks along the spreading grounds, said, “When I’d see the birds, I always sensed something more than Pico here. Now that I know that they come from all over the world, it all makes sense.”

About the Artist

Rebeca Méndez is a Los Angeles-based artist, graphic designer and professor with the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts. At the beginning of her career, she moved from her native Mexico City to southern California and received her MFA from Art Center College of Design. Méndez has exhibited and held residencies internationally and is the recipient of several awards, most recently the 2012 National Design Award for Communication Design from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. In addition to other public art commissions, Méndez completed an artwork for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder County Clerk Election Operations Center in 2008.