Through the Jose Cuervo Tradicional Mural Program, Jose Cuervo and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) aim to create a dialogue between our past and future: using the rich cultural traditions of Mexico’s history to encourage Latinos to look toward tomorrow.
Murals – much like un buen tequila – are an authentic part of Mexico’s history and culture.
Artists over the age of 21 were invited to submit original mural paintings inspired by their hopes and dreams for the Latino community, as well as the Jose Cuervo Tradicional bottle.
These are those artists.
To find out more and to vote for your favorite, check out Los Amigos de Jose on Facebook.
Introduce yourself to readers.
My name is Fidencio Duran. I have been a painter and muralist for over 30 years. My paintings and murals have been exhibited and collected throughout the country and beyond. They focus on narratives related to my family’s experiences in central Texas from the 1920’s to the present.
How did you get involved in the Jose Cuervo Mural Project?
I applied to the Cuervo Tradicional Mural Project at the suggestion of two arts professionals in my community of Austin, TX.
I read about your work “The Visit” at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. What was it like to work on such a huge indoor mural?
My most prominent public muras is “The Visit” at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. It spans 90 feet above the west ticket counters of the main terminal in nine acrylic on canvas paintings that depict a rural family reunion based on Sunday afternoons at my grandparents’ homestead in central Texas. I was selected by a distinguished panel of artists and curators as part of the Art in Public Places Program of the City of Austin. During the construction of the new airport, I painted the canvasses in a warehouse studio. I custom built the canvasses using aluminum angle iron for the stretcher bars and lined them with wooden slats on which to staple the canvas.
Do you prefer working large-scale?
I’ve worked in a large scale mural format since ’81 when I painted a history based mural for the City of Lockhart. Murals present another series of requirements while elevating the art of painting to a public event. Working on murals helped develop my sense of drawing freely with a brush and the ability to depict images in varying sizes. Presenting a mural to the public is a big responsibility that I find satisfying when I see the positive impact that it can have on a community.
Who are some of your biggest influences for your style?
My biggest influences on my style are the figurative artists of the Mexican Mural movement, the American Scene of the early 20th century, and Surrealism.
You’ve also been involved with the Texas Commission on the Arts’ Arts and Education program – does that influence the work you produce?
My practice of mural painting was greatly developed as an Artist in Education with the Texas Commission on the Arts. I worked in several smaller Texas communities arranging and painting murals that involved the public school students. I worked with a variety of materials and approaches, from school walls to installations of shaped painted components of flexible compositions. Some of these projects were used as inspirations for other art related activities such as creative writing.
Do you have your next project in mind already?
I have been approached to direct a collaborative mural project with the congregation of an Episcopal church in north Austin. The pastor envisions that it could be a positive way to show the changing demographics of its neighborhood and inspire other similar cultural projects in this more traditional neighborhood. It would involve meeting with the congregation, arranging a composition and then fabricating an exterior mural with their participation.
Tell me about your experience so far with the Jose Cuervo Mural Project.
The Cuervo Tradicional Mural Project has further supported my contention that murals though being a traditional art form have much to offer communities and individuals in many formats They can inform, inspire, and entertain as they make our dreams and aspirations appear before us.