A new mural is in the making at Santa Barbara High School by the cafeteria. Similar to the other murals around the school, they hold a vast array of significant meanings and representations, including depicting Chicano culture. Joseph Velasco, the advisor for the Ethnic Studies club, when asked about the meaning of the mural, he answered “ That’s still unfolding, that’s the honest answer’’. A year ago Principal Dr. Simmons went to Mr. Velasco, as he is the advisor for the Ethnic Studies and other culture clubs like Raices Santa Barbara, a beneficial space for artists of color. He thought that she was kidding when she told him about the idea of doing the mural, but when he realized that she was being serious, they put together a budget. This project idea being set into motion he contacted the artist Manuel Unzueta to discuss how to best bring this idea to fruition.
Manuel Unzueta is a Santa Barbara High School Alumni from the class of 1968 and grew up in Santa Barbara. He pioneered the original Chicano art mural in the 1970’s, painting the iconic library murals in 1988, and murals all around Santa Barbara and Southern California.The design process kicked off in the spring with some graduated high school students. “It’s been kind of fun for the students and the staff walking by, they can see the evolution of it’’ Mr. Velasco said. He said that they chose the mural location due to it being the biggest wall, everyone can see it when they are walking by. The students had ideas to do the mural painting. He told me that a girl was new to the class and he said that she had an idea to paint a quetzal, the state bird of Guatemala, where her family is from. It’s a beautiful bird,” They would collaborate and give ideas on what would be good to paint.
The painting process started in September. He said that they were hoping to be done before school started but they couldn’t, and they will finish the painting by the 4th of November with an unveiling and a ceremony.on the 17th.
In the future Mr. Velasco said they would like to create another mural in the new stadium.