Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles

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Cruz has been been creating art in community venues for more than 30 years. A self-taught painter and sculptor and a former gang member, he got his start doing caricatures of sailors and zoot-suitors who frequented his mother's East Los Angeles bar. During the 1970s he had a studio and taught art classes at All Nations Center and Mechicano Art Center in East Los Angeles He was a project director on Judith Baca's first mural with gang members at the Sisters of the Poor Convalescent Home. The author of several books, one a pre-Columbian coloring book and another a Chicano Christmas story, he is currently at work on another project about the influence of Hollywood gangster movies on youth during the past several decades. (Robin K. Dunitz, Street Gallery, Guide to over 1000 Los Angeles Murals


Manuel Cruz
East LA

A scene of the Spanish arrival on Mexican shores, including a confrontation between the Spanish and the Aztecs.

To Ace Out A Homeboy

Manuel Cruz
Ramona Gardens

In the center an indigenous priest holds the dead body of a youth killed in gang violence.