Juana Alicia is a muralist, studio painter, sculptor, designer and educator working in the San Francisco Bay Area. She came of age in Detroit during the Civil Rights Movement, creating posters to support the boycott and organizing efforts of the United Farm Workers and other social movements. In her early twenties, she was recruited by Cesar Chavez to work for the union, and moved to Salinas to participate in the organizing and strikes of the early seventies. Since those formative years, her work has reflected a commitment to social justice, human rights and environmental health.
Her large body of sculptural and painted public works can be seen in Nicaragua, Mexico, Pennsylvania and in many parts of California, most notably in San Francisco. Her work is associated with the greatest artistic and political achievements of the Chicano movement. She works in many different media to create both private and public works of art. These include drawing, printmaking, small-format painting, monumental acrylic, fresco, tile and sculptural murals and other sculptural forms. Her work evolved from the streets of San Francisco’s Mission District, whose mural renaissance is legendary, to installations in other parts of the U.S. and Latin America. She began painting acrylic murals, and expanded to ceramics, bas relief, cement and metal sculpture. She seeks to create architectonic and sculptural works in a cityscape with an increasingly green and sustainable urban vision.
Juana Alicia received her BA at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. She has taught at Stanford University, U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C. Davis, ESAY (Escuela Superior de Arte de Yucatán) and San Francisco State University, and is currently full time faculty at Berkeley City College, where she founded and directs the public art program, True Colors. Dedicated to the development of young artists, she co-founded and co-directed the San Francisco Early Childhood School for the Creative Arts and the East Bay Institute for Urban Arts. Through her teaching, she has helped to foster several generations of young muralists and activist artists.
Juana Alicia’s public commissions include SANARTE at U.C.S.F. Medical Center, SANTUARIO at the San Francisco International Airport, LA LLORONA'S SACRED WATERS and MAESTRAPEACE (The Women’s Building Mural) in the Mission District of San Francisco, GEMELOS at the Metropolitan Technical University in Mérida, Mexico, and HUEHUETLATOLI: WISDOM OF THE ELDERS at University Avenue and Sacramento Street in Berkeley, California. She has most recently completed a set of new murals for Stanford University’s Centro Chicano, entitled THE SPIRAL WORD: EL CODEX ESTANFOR, and the new WEST OAKLAND YOUTH CENTER MURALS, a collaboration between Juana Alicia, True Colors Mural Project and the Trust Your Struggle Collective. These include nine ceramic tile murals for the exterior of the youth center, located at Market and Brockhurst, Oakland, California.