Toltec Totems

Toltec Totems



Toltec Totems is inspired by the history of the Chicano Arts Movement and activism in San Diego, which led to the founding of Chicano Park, and a Chicano Cultural Arts Center known today as the Centro Cultural de la Raza, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The artists’ vision with Toltec Totems is to take what lives inside the walls of the Centro Cultural de la Raza and its members and elders and transport it outside to a greater audience. It is an outreach exercise to reach people who would not otherwise stroll in its doors. Inspired by Aztec, Inca, and Mayan sacred architecture, the artists cover the totems in brightly colored images. Each is placed at different locations within Balboa Park; the four totems feature influential Chicano artists. The hope is that these totems act as metaphorical and literal bridges to the Centro environment so that an appreciation for the predominantly San Diego-based Chicano artists featured on the totems can expand locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Date and Location

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Balboa Park

Council District 3


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