URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Murals painted more than 45 years ago are being reintroduced to the University of Illinois campus. The Graduate and La Victoria were removed from the La Casa Cultural Latina when the building was demolished in 2016.
The cost for removal, transportation to Chicago, conservation, restoration, framing, and reinstallation was nearly $400,000, covered by multiple administrative offices on campus.
In 1974, Oscar Martinez painted the room-sized murals, with the help of students, to depict the struggle of Latinx students in an effort to prevent the closing of the Latino Cultural Center.
“The murals coming back is a big celebration for our Latinx community of not only current students, faculty, staff and community members, but also our alumni and the years of history our community has on this campus,” said Mariana Ortega, the director of La Casa Cultural Latina. “This is a perfect picture of what resistance and beauty look like.”
Events to reintroduce the works of art are scheduled for Friday, February 21. The installation at the Illini Union is to be permanent, while the installation at Spurlock is for a decade with hopes the new La Casa building will be in place by then. Martinez is expected to be present at the Spurlock event.
Latinx Mural Reinstallations
Friday, February 21
Illini Union South Lounge
1401 West Green Street
11 am – 1 pm
600 South Gregory Street
4:30 – 6 pm