Emigdio Vasquez

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Emigdio Vasquez (Arizona 1939 - ) is an American artist and muralist. His artistic works and photorealistic style are studied and appreciated by art critics nation-wide. He is often recognized for his mural The Legacy Of Cesar Chavez.

Early life[edit]

Born in the mining town of Jerome, Arizona, his father worked for Phelps Dodge copper mines. In the early 1940s they moved to Orange, California. In kindergarten at Killefer Elementary, he began developing an interest in art. He copied the drawings in comic books and base them on stories his father told him about the Mexican Revolution. In the late 1950s he took up oil painting. In the mid-1960s, inspired by Diego Rivera, he painted his first mural, in his parents' patio. In 1979 he earned a Master of Fine Arts degee.

Emigdio earned an Associate of Arts degree from Santa Ana College before transferring to California State Fullerton University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. In 1979, for his Master’s Degree thesis project, Emigdio painted an 85-foot by 64-foot mural as a tribute to the Chicano working class, complete with figures modeled after his father as a miner and other relatives and friends as field workers and laborers.

Personal life[edit]

Vasquez is the father of six children. His son, Emigdio Jr Carlos "Higgy" Vasquez is also an artist, and has assisted him on several mural projects. Higgy painted the Cal State Fullerton mural "Equity and Equality", and recently in 2014 restored the Cypress St. Mural, "El Proletariado de Aztlan," that is currently in production by Cable Ace Producer/Director, Katherine A. Bowers. His ex-wife, Rosie Lopez Schelerth, has written much about Vasquez's early life and their marriage in her autobiography Hi! My Name is Chicken.

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