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Mendocino College Mural dedication

Mendocino College holds mural dedication

Mendocino College holds mural dedication


Artist Daniel Lopez, left, and Mendocino College Superintendent/President Arturo Reyes pose below the mural. Curtis driscoll-Ukiah Daily Journal

By Curtis Driscoll ,

POSTED: 02/01/18, 3:08 PM PST | UPDATED: 11 HRS AGO




As a child, Daniel Lopez was made fun of because he was Hispanic and poor. However, when he went to college at USC, he took classes about his own people’s history and realized that it was something to be proud of and celebrated.

His experiences and growth made him honored and humbled on Wednesday to speak about his art to Mendocino College students and the public during a Mural Dedication Ceremony and Open House for the First Year Institute, College Assistance Migrant Program and Dreamer Resource Center.



Lopez was inspired to create the mural to show Latinos as educated and proud of the beauty in themselves. The center of the mural focuses on graduating students coming together to a woman Lopez says represents the beauty of Latino culture.

The mural also includes scenes of people working in places like vineyards and logging and of people like the Pomo and Gold Rush miners. He also includes images of the Spaniards arriving on one side and the Mayflower arriving on the other side.

Monica Flores, the director of FYI, says that the mural was part of the overall process of making students feel like the FYI program and the space it is in represents them and what they want out of the program.



The First Year Institute, known as FYI, is a program started in the fall semester that provides services and resources to first-year college students. The program currently has 108 students and was launched through a Hispanic Serving Institution grant the program received in October 2016 as a way to expand educational opportunities and improve the academic attainment of Hispanic students.

Some of the goals of the program include increasing the number of students who completed a degree or transfer to a four-year institution, decrease the amount of time students need to achieve their goals and getting families involved in the education support system. The FYI center allows students to come for help, use computers, participate in workshops, see a designated college counselor, and get access to school supplies.



Flores says giving students the space to come in and hang out, get help or just feel connected to others is important for new students on campus. Many times students feel that they have figured out everything on their own, but Flores hopes that having events like the ceremony celebrating the mural by Lopez can help students realize there is a place for support and guidance.

“We wanted to have him create something that was representative of students moving forward, of coming out of those traditional experiences and coming into education and being successful that way,” Flores said.