Photo courtesy of the Community College of Aurora
The Community College of Aurora’s Lowry campus could be the next physical canvas for an artist whose murals decorate the walls of the Denver International Airport.
Muralist Leo Tanguma has spent nearly 40 years refining his distinctive style, an artistic approach that melds history, social commentary and ancient visual traditions. Tanguma is set to host a slideshow of his work during a special retrospective at CCA’s Lowry Campus on Tuesday, and the artist says he will likely return to the campus this summer teach a set of specialized mural classes.
Students will have the chance to study with Tanguma and create their own mural project.
“The slideshow is to introduce them to my work,” Tanguma said.
Tanguma’s murals can be found on walls at schools, churches and other public structures around Colorado; his paired pieces titled “In Peace With Harmony and Nature” dominate the Great Hall terminal at DIA. The subjects of the pieces, which also incorporate elements of large-scale sculpture, range from Chicano history to messages of social justice.
“Initially, I began to paint murals during the Chicano movement. There was a lot of need for people to recognize our own history and our own culture,” said Tanguma, who studied art at Texas Southern University in Houston. “I painted my community moving toward this self-realization to accept the struggle for human dignity.”
After studying with Texas Southern University Art Professor John T. Biggers and accomplished Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, Tanguma widened his subjects to the struggle agains apartheid in South Africa and the plight of Salvardoran refugees in Houston. He has also made teaching a central part of his artistic life in the past three decades.
Tanguma’s presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. on March 8 in Room 217 North Quad Building at the Lowry Campus, 9202 E. Severn Place, Denver. For more information, call 303-360-4700. The event is free and open to the public.