The worlds of public transit and public art will forever intersect at the Metropolitan Transit System’s (MTS’s) Cesar E. Chavez/25th and Commercial Trolley Station. On March 23, “Achievement/Progress/Community: In the Spirit of Cesar E. Chavez,” a sculpture by a local art team led by Mario Lara, was officially be dedicated amidst a crowd of community leaders and activists, local residents, and MTS and SANDAG Board Members and staff.
The 18-foot tall landmark honors the memory and spirit of humanitarian and community leader Cesar E. Chavez (1927-1993), who was a civil rights advocate, labor leader, a crusader for nonviolent social change, and an environmentalist. It features a perforated stainless steel eagle sculpture with directional signs to local neighborhood landmarks, colorful bench mosaics detailing the life of this great humanitarian, and stainless steel panels with a quote from Cesar Chavez in English and Spanish, proclaiming “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community.”
Lara, along with artists and community activists John Hiemstra, Louise Torio, Todd McKerrow, Pita Ruiz, and Ruben Seja, were awarded the grant to create the artwork through a competitive process administered by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture in collaboration with Partners for Livable Places San Diego. Torio is also a six-year SANDAG employee, who served as project coordinator and liaison between the agencies and the community. The artwork is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, City of San Diego Council District 8, and the Central Commercial District Revitalization Corporation (CCDRC).
The project is the result of planning workshops that were conducted by the Commission for Arts and Culture in 2002 during the development of the Public Art Master Plan (PAMP), which was adopted by the Mayor and City Council in 2004. The integration of public art into an existing trolley station that was scheduled for an upgrade by MTS and SANDAG was a key goal of the project. SANDAG is pleased to have collaborated with the community, the art team, MTS, and the City of San Diego to bring this public art to this busy Orange Line trolley station, which serves the neighborhoods of Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, Grant Hill, and Memorial.
Louise Torio, firstname.lastname@example.org,