Listen: East High School will honor the life of Luis Garcia with work from famed Chicano muralist Leo Tanguma — in collaboration with Garcia’s soccer team

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Artist Leo Tanguma in his Arvada home. March 28, 2023.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Artist Leo Tanguma in his Arvada home. March 28, 2023.

Leo Tanguma walks gingerly through his living room crowded in the colors of a Mexican serape, papel picado and paintings of the Latindad he’s famously known for depicting. It looks like what would happen if a rainbow gently sneezed inside of an old Arvada home.

Raven Porteous, East High School Dean of Students, visited this same home just a few days before the funeral of East High School student Luis Garcia.

Porteous, Tanguma, and the East High School administration have been in discussions about a mural honoring the life of the beloved student.

“The idea first came about after the February 13th shooting,” Porteous said. “Renee [Fajardo] reached out to me and let me know that Leo Tanguma wanted to donate a mural to East. I went to Leo’s house and met with him and his wife. We sat down, had cafe y pan dulce, and talked about what we could do to help our students grieve.”

The well known muralist, notable for his DIA murals that comment on the abolition of war, is working on drafts for a new East High School mural. Sponsored by the Chicano Humanities Art Council, the mural is intended to honor Garcia’s life, address the issue of gun violence and advocate for a change in gun policies.

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