Juchari Ziranhua / Nuestros Raices/ Our Roots, 2019 Cornelio Campo
I Am My Own Muse, 2019 Cecilia Lueza
The City of Durham’s Cultural and Public Art Program was proud to collaborate with North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) to execute a public mural project on the Durham Convention Center (DCC)’s two blank garage doors located on W. Chapel Hill Street. The North Carolina Museum of Art installed these murals as part of their Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection exhibition that ran from October 26, 2019 through January 19, 2020 and to kick-start their campaign to bring art to the greater Triangle region.
To honor the Mexican heritage of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, the City worked with NCMA to recruit Latinx-identifying artists to install these two murals - one on each garage door. The artists commissioned were Cornelio Campos, a Durham-based Mexican-American artist and Cecilia Lueza, a prolific American-Argentine artist and sculptor from Charlotte, NC. As part of the priority goals outlined by the City of Durham’s Public Art Committee, the project also included a youth-engagement component involving the NCMA Teen Arts Council, El Pueblo, and El Centro Hispano.
Local to the Durham community, Cornelio Campos is a Mexican-American artist that recently completed a mural with Duke University students at the Rubenstein Arts Center. His work focuses on three main themes: political issues including immigration, Mexican folklore, and anthropological symbols from Mexican ethnic groups. His paintings have been shown in several different galleries and exhibitions including Campus Y at UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, NC State University, and the Museum of American Indian Art.
Argentine-American artist and sculptor, Cecilia Lueza studied visual arts at the University of La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since 2000, she has been working on a variety of public art projects in many cities throughout the United States. Her work has been exhibited at Art Miami, Arte Américas, and Scope Miami Beach, and in the last year she completed public art pieces in: Washington, DC; Jacksonville, FL; West Palm Beach; and St. Petersburg, FL, among many others. Her work is part of many public and private collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America.
While the murals are intended to bring awareness to the museum’s exhibition, they will also reflect the idea of “Durham as a destination” and honor the community’s Hispanic heritage and Durham’s 150th Anniversary celebration.