Artist: Jerry Rael - Phone: 720-371-0063

Jerry Rael and Ike Davis painted this mural in the SUB basement when they were undergraduates in 1981. The murals ,which were painted over, are now being reconstructed by five artists led by Rael and Davis.

New Mexico Daily Lobo   
Thursday, September 29,1994                          
Committee takes stock of local art
Art major hired to investigate old and new pieces
By Cynthia Hernandez
Daily Lobo

Have you ever been walking round on campus, come across a piece of art,  and wondered where  it came from and how it was purchased?
Apparently some members from the UNM administration didn't know the answers to those questions either,  because they hired art history student Alana Wolfe to find out.
 Wolfe began her research by talking to the University Art Museum Director Peter Walch, who also chairs the Art In Public Places Committee.
The Art committee,  along with  Campus Planning, solicits, accepts,. approves,  and selects art  to be installed permanently anywhere on campus.  The group reviews murals, mosaics,  and sculptures, which Wolfe surveyed as she walked around campus.  She looked for everthing she could find, digging into library archives to research artist's names, prices for the work,  and when and where the pieces were made. 
" It was equally fun as it was frustrating," Wolfe said. because there were some pieces of art that she could not uncover.
What wasn't in Wolfe's reseerach were the murals in the now defunct Casa Del Sol Restaurant in the SUB basement, which were painted over about two years ago.
Ike Davis is part of the Mural Coalition, which has recruited five undergraduates to reconstruct the murals. Painting will commence as soon as two other artists are hired.
The group reconstructed the walls in the SUB basement, stretched canvases, and painting materials have arrived.
"The only down side to the project," Davis said, was applying for  money and permission, which is harder now then when he was a UNM undergraduate student  in 1980. 
" I don't why they were painted over-there had never been any graffiti on them or complaints about them. " Davis said." The only thing I heard were compliments on them."

This is one of three murals Jerry Rael and Ike Davis reconstructed in 1994.

Administration talks, doesn't walk: by Neri Holguin and Anders Nelson" Special to the Daily Lobo"

New Mexico Daily Lobo OPINIONS  June 22-29, 1994

UNM is ugly.
Whether or not we all agree to this statement, certainly there is plenty of room for improvement. Apparently the campus authorities have some twisted idea  of the importance of mural art. Preserved at all cost is the out-of -date, racist slander on the walls of Zimmerman library. Meanwhile, valuable multi-cultural  works of art in Casa Del Sol  are destroyed without  a thought.( More combative souls than ourselves might easily read an overtly racist gesture into this pair of actions.)
Even Art Melendrez, the president of the otherwise totally out-of touch Board of Regents  recognized the need for change. He has said, to paraphrase, that the aesthetic appearance of the campus edges needs improvement.( Unfortunately he was referring to the obtrusive new bookstore that will be sitting on top of Yale Park). A huge portion of the University is covered by deadly boring gray concrete slab walls, and repetitive brown stucco walls, and repetitive brown stucco material. Don't fret, University administration: The Mural Coalition( look for flyers around campus) has some ideas. We want to paint some murals.
The Southwest has a distinquished tradition of community- based art. The galleries of the Anglo influenced Sante Fe art scene, which are the ultimate outlet that these scenes revolve around, are an inherently limiting and exclusive way of showing art. People with a specialized interest and high art literacy, not to mention extra time and money, are the only ones to whom this art can realistically be directed.
Mural art has, especially since the Mexican movement of the 30's been aimed  ate and accessible to marginalized communities and the common people. The same is true for the traditional art of the indigenous and Chicano people which helps to inform people about the cultural heritage of the southwest.
While Albuquerque is destroying expression on part of city's youth, we could be proactive and put that creativity energy to better use here.One idea is to couple University students with high school students in a mural project. Art making is an effective force for youth empowerment.
We are providing the opportunity for the University to fix  the big boo-boo concerning the Casa Del Sol , beautify campus and make known the presence of the underrepresented by means of art.
All this is very do-able---- that is, once the University realizes the contradiction in praising without acting, and destroying art by people of color on campus.
Neri Holguin is a member of MECHA, a Chicano activist group at UNM. Anders Nelson is a member of the New Mexico Public Interest Research Group of the student Union Building. This column will appear once every two weeks.

Rebirth of A Mural, 1994" is the title of this Book which illustrates via photographs of the beginning,the middle and completion of the mural project led by Artists Jerrry Rael and Ike Davis in 1994. Cover design created by Jerry Rael

Misfortune Acknowedged by UNM officials

The University of New Mexico
Business Services
201 La Posada
Albuquerque,NM 87131-3141
505 277-4799

                                                             June 16,1994

Mr. Jerry Rael
269 Osceola Street
Denver, Colorado  80219

Dear Mr. Rael,
I am responding to an inquiry you made regarding the mural in the Casa Del Sol area of the Student Union.
Since January, 1994, we have been attempting to determine if the paint that covered the mural could be removed. The professional from Sante Fe that tested the area has not provided us with a report.
Unfortunatey, without this report we have not felt comfortable with making any decisions to commission the area for another mural. This process has many of us frustrated, but we have been  trying to get a response.
Since you were a large part of the painting of this original art work of this project, I owe you a personal apology. I was Interim Director of the Student Union and we were redecorating when the over painting of the mural occurred. It was an honest mistake and I regret that it has caused so many problems.


Robert Schulte
Director of Business Services/Housing & Food Services

Mural-Recreation in the SUB UNION, UNM

To : Walter Miller, Director of Student Union Building
From: Neri Holguin, MECHA and the Mural Coalition
Re: Mural -Recreation in the SUB
Date: Tuesday, June 28,1994

The original artists of the murals at UNM's Casa Del Sol restaurant are Jerry Rael and Ike Davis. They are working collaboratively with the Mural Coalition. Please be advised that the letter dated June 27,1994 received from Jerry Rael and Ike Davis was intended to give you a general idea or a rough draft of how much it would cost to recreate the murals, as restoration seems impossible. It would take further tests and time for Mr. Rael and Mr. Davis to determine more precise estimates  as to exactly how much it will cost to create what has been destroyed.
We ask that Mr. Rael and Mr. Davis  be given the time to determine how much re-creation will cost. Furthermore,  the nonexistence report of estimated costs for restoration possibilities from Steven Prinns is inconsequential as the real experts are the artists Jerry Rael and Ike Davis. We feel confident that Jerry Rael and Ike Davis are fully quualified and have the experience of past involvement with the murals. Therefore, the University and the SUB should pick up the costs of their analysis, as was done for Steven Prinns.
 A formal and detailed cost will be submitted by Jerry Rael and Iks Davis this Friday, June 30th, as to how much re-creation will cost. We would appreciate a reply from you by Wednesday of the following week, July 6,  and would like to set up a meeting with you to discuss a contract for these artists to begin recreating the murals. 
If you have any questions concerning the Mural Coalition, please contact me at 277-6896. If you have any questions about the Mural recreation in the Casa del Sol restaurant , please contact Jerry Rael at 303 937-0543 or in Albuqurque at 899-2679, or Ike Davis at 836-1287. Thank you.

cc: Orcillia Zuniga Forbes, Vice President of Student Affairs
Richard Peck, University President
The Board of Regents:
Barbara G. Brazil
 J.E Gallegos
Dr. Seigfried S Hecker
Arthur Melendres
Roberta Cooper Ramo
Penny Taylor Rembe
C. Gene Samberson

Hate Graffiti Scars SUB Mural

      Two artists painting  a mural  in the basement of the SUB arrived at work  Monday morning  to find a "chilling effect added to thier depiction of an Aztec dancer -- a swastika."
      UNM officials whitewashed  the original mural in August  1993,  and several groups, including the UNM  Mural Coalition, began repainting it about a month ago. The mural was about 75 percent finished and was to be unveiled in December.
      The swastika, about four feet across, was sprayed on the mural sometime between 6 p.m. Sunday night  and 8 a.m. Monday morning. The graffeti will cost an estimated $800.00 to $1,000.00 and 20 hours of labor to fix it.
      Both artists said they hope the actions of one person would not ruin the effort made by many to recreate the mural.
      "There's not much you can do about this," said Ike Davis, one of the original artists who is also is working on the current version. ' You can't accept it, but you have to work through it."
      " There's been a  lot more positive energy about this project  than negative. I'm not going to dwell on the negative."
        Another original artist, Jerry Rael, said he was encouraged  to see the reactions from those walking by the scene Monday.
      " Numerous people felt sick when they saw the swastika," Rael said. The news really got out quick. Probably about 300 people stopped by to make comments that it disturbs them."
      Davis also said that UNM Administration reacted quickly and positively to the racist statement. Their first reaction was to close the area off completely until the mural is finished, but Davis said they decided  to leave the basement open.
      "We expressed concern about taking away student access," he said." We're here for the students-- a whole range of people relate to the mural."
UNM President Richard Peck was out of town Monday, but Dean of Arts and Sciences William Gordon, acting as president, issued a statement for the administration.
      " In the current case, we are dealing with more than the destruction of property,' the statement said. " We are confronted with an act that strikes at the core of the university.... In this act we have a clear attempt to block or inhibit  free expression through intimidation and hate."
      Gordon who called the swastika "CHILLING," also said  the administration will undertake measures  to secure the murals, because " those  who threaten us must know they have failed in their attempt to intimidate us."
      Several student groups, including the UNM Mural Coalition, MECHA, Hispanic Student Services,  and the Progressive  Student Alliance, held a press conference to address the graffiti.
      Neri Holguin, a member of the Mural Coalition, said the act was despicable.
      " We can all conjecture as to the person's motivation for this action," Holguin said." Hate, fear, racism and ignorance are the foundations for such cowardly actions." Holguin also  said the incident  shows that UNM  needs to address the broader problem of racism and discrimination on campus.
      " Racism in the form of art already exists on this campus," Holguin said, referring to the murals in Zimmerman Library.
      " This incident confirms that  art is politial....This ( SUB )  mural challenges  our racial society. B y supporting mural art we create opportunities for people to tell the truth. We need more art!"
Holguin said racism should be addressed by UNM  as an institution-- not just by student groups.
      "We demand accountability from UNM administrators and the person who attacked our work," she said." We know that there is no way to guarantee safety from racism. However, we expect  a thorough investigation . We demand justice."
      UNM student Adan Baca agreed. " This isn't the biggest problem. The problem isn't just one swastika," Baca said. " The problem is the institution."
      Student Raul Candelaria said he wonders what it will take for UNM to address racism. Candelaria said that since he arrived at UNM, almost every ethnic cnter or minority  group on campus has been attacked by racist graffiti.
      "Are you going to wait until a student is personally attacked because of the color of his skin?" he asked.
      Veronica Mendez-Cruz, director of Hispanic Student Services, threw the rhetoric of the original Nazi users of the swastikia  back in the faces of the vandals.
      " We can't allow such vermin to get in our way," Mendez-- Cruz said.
Tuesday, November 8,1994
Volume 99
 Number 54.

A Letter to the Editor

November 7,1994
Note to editors:
 Dr. William Gordon, Dean of the UNM College of Arts and Sciences , has been designated as Acting UNM President until President Richard Peck's return  from an out- of- town businnes trip tonight.
Statement from Acting President William Gordon regarding mural defacing in UNM Student Building:

      Early this morning , it was discovered that a vandal or vandals defaced an artwork- in -progress in the lower level of the UNM SUB. The artwork, tentatively titled "Aztec Dancers,"" is the creation of two former UNM students and seven current UNM students. I understand that the mural  was commisioned  and is being supported by various campus organizations, including the Campus Mural Coalition, MECHA, the Division of Student Affairs, the SUB and Hispanic Student Services. The mural is a bout 75% complete and the artists were hoping to unveil their work sometime during the first week of December.
      The vandal or vandals spray -painted a swastika that measures about four feet at its widest point across one of the dancers depicted in the mural. The artists estimate the dollar value of the damage to be about $800.00 to $1,ooo.oo. Obviously, there is no way to measure the emotional cost that rsults from such a despicable incident.
      Obviously, all of us within the campus community deplore random acts of vandalism. But in the current case, we are dealing with more than the destruction of property. Wer are confronted with an act thaT STRIKES at the core of the university. Above all. a University is a forum for the free expression and consideration of ideas and we are enriched as a University when these ideas are from diverse perspectives. In this act we have a clear attempt to block or inhibit free expression through intimidation and hate. Such acts have as their goal the creation of a climate where free expression is inhibited. To the extent that we allow such acts to succeed we are diminished as a University.
      Discussions are already underway concerning short-term procedures. We can implement  to safeguard our murals in this part of the SUB. On- going discussions are also underway as to how we can better ensure the safety and security of the campus generally. But as we strive to enhance the security on our campus, those who would thtreaten us must know that they have failed in their attempts to intimidate us. We will continue to foster and support free expression of diverse ideas on our campus.

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15.04 | 05:56

Greetings ,
I am William Scott from Atlanta , Enjoyed your site and your wonderful Artworks. am very much interested in the purchase your Art piece for our A

04.11 | 14:46

Shout out to Jerry —- one amazing artist and great person

05.12 | 16:21

I love this picture!!!

23.09 | 07:06


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