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"I Saw Diego Rivera at the Washateria"

Painted by K Space Summer Mural Arts Program, 2023

Original Drawing of "I Saw Diego Rivera at the Washateria" by Jimmy Pena

"I Saw Diego Rivera at the Washateria" Updated painting for mural reference by Jimmy Pena

Final Mural on the back of the Law Office of Scott M. Ellison's Building

I Saw Diego Rivera at the Washateria is an adaptation of the original painting done by local artist Jimmy Peña. 

The idea for the piece was inspired by a washateria in Jimmy’s neighborhood on the west side of Corpus where Jimmy saw the struggles of the lower class and thought of Diego Rivera’s murals depicting the struggle of the proletariat workers washing clothes as a great idea for a mural on the wall of the washateria. Jimmy incorporated the figures of workers from a famous Diego mural and placed them, along with Rivera himself, in the foreground of the washateria, and added Frida Kahlo in the background looking on, as well as the swimmer over the top of the worker’s struggle to represent the rich bourgeois who swim through life while the poor endeavor in their daily grinds. 

Jimmy's original idea was to paint this image on the side of the washateria in his neighborhood, but unfortunately the idea never came to fruition. Years later K Space Contemporary began looking for potential mural locations for our Summer Mural Arts Program, and we approached long time arts advocate, Scott Ellison, about placing a mural on his building. Scott agreed to let our mural program use his wall and suggested local artist Jimmy Pena as the mural designer. Jimmy's thought provoking idea is now able to be brought to life through our Summer Mural Arts Program.

Being on a corner of a building the image was going to be distorted and stretched. To help negate this and make the corner of the building "disappear" when viewed straight on from the corner the team at K Space Contemporary pinched and stretched the image accordingly. Now when viewed at the right angle the image makes the corner of the building disappear and appear flat.

The borders of the mural were designed by artists Monica Marie Garcia and Mayra Zamora. The border designs create fun photo opportunities and add an element that the students in our camp could help customize. The border panels are full of symbols that repeatedly appeared in works by Diego Rivera and Frida Khalo.

This is the largest mural that our Summer Mural Arts Program has completed to date measuring 80 feet wide and 31 feet tall. Over 60 youth participated in painting this mural including students from the Antonio E. Garcia Center, a community center on the West Side of Corpus Christi, as well as parent volunteers.

Our Summer Mural Arts Program was able to be offered to students at no cost due to the generosity of the Frazier Family Foundation, Belinda and Bruce Edwards of Axis Tattoo, The Law Office of Scott M. Ellison, HEB and AEP Texas.

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