Sunday, November 9, 2008


It's difficult to find the words to describe the moment that went round the world when all our hopes became a reality. I felt unity with friends and the amazing people we have met through supporting this movement for change.
I want to sincerely thank everyone who stood in long lines to vote, who knocked on doors, who called, who marched, who emailed, who put up posters, made stickers, buttons and t-shirts, who did all they could to make this change a reality. It has been an incredible experience to connect with people around this country who realize nuestra voz counts. That new spirit felt round the world is indeed a voz unida.

As I listened to the words of President Elect Obama from Grant Park I heard a call to action:

"So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other".
Barack Obama said "this victory alone is not the change we seek it is only the chance for us to make that change".

The change we seek won't happen overnight and government alone can't do the job. UNIDAD means unity and I'm hoping we all take that spirit, that energy we put into this election and do something right where we live in support of our new President.
Read to children at a local school, plant trees, make time to volunteer in your neighborhood for a cause you believe in. Channel your own gifts and abilities to solve the social, environmental, political and economic issues that hold us back. In the spirit of unidad I commit myself to painting a mural with students, parents and teachers at a public school. I hope to hear from others about their plans to make a difference so let's roll up our sleeves.

Inspired by these times and in celebration of the inauguration of the 44th President Barack Obama I am turning again to my paintbrushes with a new poster UNIDAD.

Monday, September 29, 2008

OBAMA Nuestra Voz

For Latino Heritage month I wanted to create a poster celebrating Barack Obama that I hope will speak to fellow Latinos about a man I believe has vision and leadership. The piece is painted on a piece of wood that has been sanded as I wanted it to be textural with authentic cultural iconography. Hearing him speak I keep thinking to myself here is someone I can relate to, someone who can be a genuine voice for the issues we face in America and around the world.
Nuestra Voz.

I paint it for my young son Santiago as Obama represents the hope I have for his future. For my wife who teaches at San Diego City College, an urban community college and for her students because Obama knows that education is the open door that changes lives and he will make it a priority. Both my parents were born in Mexico and were architects and teachers who taught me to be a world citizen. I believe this nation is part of a global community and Obama can change the negative perceptions that cloud the future as he is a man of ideas who values and understands the social, economic and cultural issues of our time.

It is my hope that people will use the image to reach out to Latinos and others. We need to get everyone registered to vote so their voice can be heard as there is a bilingual voter registration site at that is easy to use. Barack Obama is the son of immigrants and shares the values of our Latino community. I'm counting on others to use the image to spread the word that Obama speaks for us. PLEASE USE THE NUESTRA VOZ IMAGE IN ANY WAY YOU CAN TO SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN.

UPDATE: You can view the official poster I created VOZ UNIDA for ARTISTS FOR OBAMA at the Obama/Biden website at
I'm happy to report that it quickly sold out and raised $60,000 for the final push to election day.

These last days before the election are critical so please step up and do your part by telling anyone you know to order a poster. We are still actively sending posters to campaign workers in swing states. Posters have already gone out to Colorado, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada. If you are a campaign worker or supporter who can help us get out the Latino vote who needs posters please email me via my website at

If you have a moment check out this great video for inspiration and spread the word...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Postal stamps

I illustrated these postal stamps for the USPS in 2007 and 2005 working with talented designer Ethel Kessler. What an honor it was to work on an image for such an important legal issue as equality in education. Mendez et al. v. Westmnster was a World War II-era legal case in which a group of civic-minded parents in California successfully sued to end segregation based on national origin in their schools and set a precedent for Brown vs. Board of Education. The stamp commemorated the 60th anniversary of the event and I was able to visit the public school named in honor of this brave family.
I'm passionate about Latin jazz and what a thrill it was to create the merengue stamp as I had been dancing it for many years. I tried to evoke the nuances of the couple's sideways hip movement as they hold each other tightly and glide together. The tropical foilage and flower in the woman's hair are a tribute to a time when plantation workers who couldn't hold evening parties took dance breaks out in the fields. The tambora drum reminded me of the African beat of the dance.
Thanks to the USPS for the photos of the release celebrations in Miami and Orange County, California.