Robert Delgado

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About Me
My work evolves from the reality of the photo.  Both the easel work and public art murals have been based on the people and circumstances that I encounter, with both being an appreciation of the human figure.  I was born and raised in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, did my time in the US Army, and UCLA’s graduate MFA program.  I spent most of the 70s and 80s in Chiapas State, Mexico, where I honed my skills in murals and public art.  In 1985 I was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and lived in Mexico City, working on large monotypes and murals.  I saw the influence of Mexican-American-Chicano barrio realism on the Mexico City art world first hand, with young artists discovering the gritty streets of their own city.  I lived in the Tepito district, the Hell’s Kitchen of the capital, near
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the Mercado Sonora, the world’s largest toy market.  I saw how Chicano art had come full circle, with the artisanship of the Mexican craftsman taken to Los Angeles and made into the art of the Chicano experience.  Now it had come back to its origins, the handcrafted toys influencing Mexican sculpture, the street theatre of Luis Valdez’s Teatro Campesino becoming performance art.

I am familiar with Central America, having done some murals in Estelí, Nicaragua, in 89-90.  In the 90s, with Chiapas being an extension of that experience, the 1994 Zapatista Revolution was no surprise.  In 1995, I was awarded another Fulbright, this time for teaching public art at the National School of Fine Arts in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  Here again, I was in Hell’s Kitchen, the barrio of Comayagüela being well known as the crucible of the “Mara”, the gangs of Central America.  My students at the School, however, completed two large murals and got paid contracts for two more, while I completed my usual quota of easel paintings and monotypes on paper.

I live and work in Los Angeles, the creative capital of the world and arguably the second largest city in Mexico.  I continue to paint and lately have been doing some airbrush over photosilkscreen experiments in cut fired tile.  These grew out of my public art work, a growth industry in the arts that pays most of the bills.

Professional Experience

A series of acrylic murals for the new Clark Middle School and an acrylic mural for Begich Middle School, Anchorage AK (Project Manager Jocelyn Young, 907-343-6473, $210K

Cut-tile artwork for Oregon State University's Goss Stadium (Project Manager Saralyn Hilde, 541-754-7116,; $40K

Commission for the City of Los Angeles Valley Boulevard Grade Separation Project to design and install a number of large limestone stelae and varied mosaic and tile sidewalk floor treatments (Project Manager Felicia Filer,, 213-473- 8574). $226K

Acrylic Mural, LA County Woodcrest Library, (Letitia F. Ivins, Civic Art Coordinator, LA County Arts Commission 213-202-5859) $12K

Platform pavers for the San Bernardino CA Omnitrans Civic Center Station (Project Manager Lesley A. Elwood,, (310) 836-6512, $35K

Current commission for the Minneapolis-St. Paul Central Corridor Light Rail Project for tile work on three stations (Project Manager Alicia Vap, AICP, 651-602-1961 $557K

Commission for the City of San Josť CA to design and install a large tile mural for the new SJFD Fire Station #2 (Project Manager Jennifer Easton, 408.277.5144 ext. 24, $67K

Current commission for the City of San José CA to design and install a large tile mural and tile sidewalk pavers for the new SJFD Fire Station #2 (Project Manager Jennifer Easton, 408.277.5144 ext. 24,  $115K

Current commission for the City of Los Angeles Valley Boulevard Grade Separation  Project to design and install a number of large limestone stelae and varied mosaic and tile sidewalk floor treatments (Project Manager Felicia Filer,, 213-473-8574).  $226K

Outdoor tile work includes murals and pavers for the new East Los Angeles Civic Center (Project Manager Loretta Lee, AIA,, 323-937-4270 x 364)

Worked with Widom Waine Cohen O’Leary Torasawa Architects for an interior mural and a series of pavers at the new LAPD North Valley Area Police Station (Project Manager Carrie Roche, 213-473-8570,  $87K

A series of 10 small (1’x10’) bench tile murals at the new Port of Los Angeles Cruise Ship Promenade (Manager Jody Rassell,, 213-617-2217).  $22K

Worked with Kiewit/Washington Design-Build Contractors on the artwork design and fabrication for the LA MTA Gold Line Heritage Square Station. (Alan Nakagawa, Senior Public Arts Officer, Metro Art  MTA, One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles CA 90012-2952, 213-922-2000) $110K

Worked with the La Cañada Design Group on Long Beach (CA) Transit’s Bus Stop Art Program (Project Director Vida Brown, 562-570-1932,

A series of 35 paver treatments using high fire glaze airbrush over photosilkscreen on broken tile with hand-rolled ceramic inserts; bordered with plate bronze plasma cut for additional ceramic inserts; Salt Lake City Downtown Renovation Project (Project Manager Nancy Boskoff, 801-596-5000).

A series of hand painted acrylic polymer murals on fiberglass mesh for the Juvenile Justice Center, Eugene OR (Project Manager Kirsten Jones, 541-345-7563/485-3991).

Mural of combined cut bronze with cut tile insets using airbrush glaze over silkscreen glaze; School of Pharmacy, University of Montana, Missoula.

Two tile murals for the Jackson-Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport (Project Manager David Vogt, 404-530-4289).

Acrylic mural on canvas for the lobby of Luth Research, San Diego (Roseanne Luth,, 619-283-7333).

Four acrylic murals on fiberglass mesh for the central atrium of the Interdisciplinary Research Center at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro (Project Manager Linda Dougherty, contact Jeffrey York,, 919-733-2882).

Two tile murals for the Clements Community Center in Tucson (Project Manager Beth Hancock,, 520-624-0595, ext. 21).

15 life-size tile pieces for the exterior walls of the General Services Administration, Douglas AZ US Border Station (GSA Project Manager Esther Timberlake, 415-522-3162/3182).

Fulbright Teaching Fellowship at the National School of Fine Arts, Tegucigalpa, Honduras; taught mural painting and mixed-media.

Commission from the Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority for 12 mixed media pieces on cut aluminum in the walkway between the Tower City Shopping Center and the Gateway Sports Complex (Jacobs Field & Cavaliers Arena), Cleveland, Ohio.

Mural commission from Eastman Kodak for the entrance lobby of the Motion Picture Service Center, Hollywood.

A 27 ft. by 140 ft. acrylic mural on fiberglass mesh for the exterior of the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce Building.

Mural at the Lincoln High School Auditorium commemorating the 20th anniversary of the national Chicano student organization MEChA under a commission from the City of Los Angeles Endowment for the Arts.

Two donated mural projects at the invitation of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Culture at the Municipal Gallery and Catholic Community Center, Estelí, Nicaragua.

A 30 ft. by 25 ft. mural at the Pico-Aliso Housing Projects, Boyle Heights District, under a grant from the City of Los Angeles.

Two murals for the Phoenix Arts Commission at the McDowell Road Underpass, Phoenix AZ.

Mural works under a Fulbright Research Fellowship for Mexico at the Municipal Cultural Center, Yajalón, Chiapas; at Technical High School #25, Colonia Zacahuitzco, Mexico City; and the US Embassy Benjamin Franklin Library, Colonia Juarez, Mexico City.

Donated mural project for the Church of Santiago Apostal Parish Hall, Yajalón, Chiapas.

Master of Fine Arts – University of California of Los Angeles

Academy of Fine Arts, Rome

Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, Honduras

Fulbright Research Fellowship, Mexico

Brody Arts Foundation Grant

Ford Foundation Mexican-American Fellowship
Peer Panels

City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department North Valley Police Station Public Art Project.

National Visual Arts Award, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Los Angeles Metro Transportation Authority China Town Public Art Project.

City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Institution Grants.
Professional Membership

Fulbright Association, Washington, DC

Permanent Seminar of Chicano and Border Studies, National Institute of Anthropology and History, INAH, México, DF, México

Group Exhibitions

2002  “Censored Stories”, Avenue 50 Studio, Highland Park  CA
1998  Wanamaker Gallery, Costarican-North American Cultural Center San Jose
1998  “Across the Street”, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach CA
1997  “Works from the Collection of SHGA”, Riverside (CA) Art Museum
1997  Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Anchorage, Alaska
1996  “Chicano Expressions”, Galerie Cité de Livre, Aix-en-Provence, France
1996  Gallery of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana/Azcapotzalco, Mexico City
1996  MacLaren Hall, LA County Probation Dept., El Monte CA
1996  “Day of the Dead Celebration”, Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow, Scotland
1995  Social & Public Art Resource Center “Tribute to Self-Help”, Venice CA
1995  “Selected Work from SHGA”, Watts Towers Art Gallery, Los Angeles
1995  Art Gallery, University of California, Irvine CA
1995  “Untitled”, Engman/Juarez Fine Art, Laguna Beach CA
1995  Amerika Haus – US Cultural Center, Berlin
1995  “Chicano Expressions”, Muséedu Noveau Monde, La Rochelle, France
1994  “Chicano Expressions”, Pretoria Arts Museum, Pretoria, South Africa