Eloy Torrez stands in front of his mural located at 10th Street and Main Street. Since 1983, this Latino muralist, painter and artist has completed some of California’s biggest and boldest pieces of public art. Photo by Brian D. Wilson

“Celebrating Santa Paula’s Latino Culture”

May 21, 2003
Santa Paula News
By Mike Kerr Eloy Torrez is a man of few words because his work, currently a 60-foot wide, 13-foot high mural on 10th Street in Santa Paula, speaks volumes for him. Since 1983, this Latino muralist, painter and artist has completed some of California’s biggest and boldest pieces of public art.Last year, an entire wall of the Hollywood High School auditorium became Torrez’s celebration of a diverse ethnic range of actors and entertainers. And before that, his “Pope of Broadway” depicted a 72-foot high Anthony Quinn dancing on the wall of the Victor Clothing Company in downtown Los Angeles.His newest mural is taking shape on the Gonzales furniture store wall opposite Santa Paula’s firehouse. Its sheer size catches the eye, while its deeply honest rendering of Hispanic individuals and families draws the viewer close.Titled “Celebrating Santa Paula’s Latino Culture,” the subject matter demanded a great deal of the 20 or so people who are Santa Paula’s Mural Committee. The committee undertook a series of discussions with members of the Latino community to learn from them how they would like to have their warm and vibrant culture portrayed in the mural. The work is a remarkable chronological sweep through the decades, a progression of generations through farm toil and raising families, through military and civil service, through education and technical prowess.
“We wanted an artist who would have a feeling for the heart of the subject, someone who understood the cultural importance of family, church and service,” says Joyce Carlson, who initiated the citywide murals project in 1997. “Eloy was selected from among three outstanding Latino artists considered for the mural as the one who had the heart and talent for this.”Torrez himself is not one to shy away from complex subjects. His murals grace industrial buildings across the state, from a power station in Vernon to an animal shelter in South Central Los Angeles. In 1991 he completed a major mural project for the French Ministry of Culture in an apartment complex in Francs-Moisins, near St. Denis, France.His is the seventh in a series of ten murals Carlson’s committee has brought to life in Santa

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