September 28, 2023

Renowned Chilean Artist/Activist Alejandro “Mono” González Installs Mural at WCU

mural progress

During Hispanic Heritage Month, West Chester University is honoring Latinx culture with what will become a permanent installation in Sykes Student Union: a custom mural by the renowned Chilean artist and activist Alejandro “Mono” González.

González is the keynote for the 15th annual Latinx Communities Conference and will speak not only on making art but about public art and its social impact. His presentation on Thursday, September 28, is at 12:30 p.m. in Sykes Ballrooms. It is free and open to the public.

González is on WCU’s campus this week with his son Sebastián González and assistants and is currently painting the mural on the second floor of Sykes. He has spoken with classes and held a printmaking masterclass with WCU art students. He will speak to a Spanish class at 11 a.m. Thursday at the mural.

Daniela Johannes, originally from Chile, associate professor of languages and cultures, is director for the Latino Communities Conference and is responsible for bringing Gonzalez to WCU for the conference and to create the mural. She notes that September 11, 1973 (“the other 9/11,” she says), was the Chilean coup d’etat and “Gonzalez was part of the movement, painting clandestinely during the dictatorship.”

In the late 1960s, Gonzalez founded La Brigada Ramona Parra, a street arts informal school and a collective of young painters who left a heritage of visual social messages on the walls and public buildings of Santiago, Chile. During the Chilean dictatorship, several of Mono’s authored murals were covered with white paint but were later restored and declared national monuments of heritage during the Chilean democracy.

Johannes calls the mural “an educational monument that honors the heritage” of WCU’s Latinx students and employees.

González’ mural installation coincides with Mono & Mural, an exhibit of his work in WCU’s Baker Gallery in E.O. Bull Center through Friday, October 13.

mural progress

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