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Oral history interview with John Valadez, 1996 November 25-1997 May 12

Valadez, John, 1951-

Muralist, Painter


Collection Information

Size: 159 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 7 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 14 digital wav files. Duration is 6 hr., 58 min.

Summary: An interview of John Valadez conducted 1996 November 25-1997 May 12, by Jeffrey Rangel, in Valadez's studio, Los Angeles, California, for the Archives of American Art.
John Valadez, muralist and painter, was born in Lincoln Heights, a suburb of Los Angeles. Growing up in Huntington Park, he assimilated into the multi-cultural community and throughout his school years did not have any strong ethnic ties. His strong, hard-working mother, instilled in her son values of truth and fair play, and kept him from getting involved in gangs. After graduating from Hunting Park High School and attending East Los Angeles College, where his artistic talents were encouraged by his instructors, he became a part of the developing Chicano Art community. He went on to California State University, Long Beach, continuing his art studies there. During the summers, he directed the summer mural program at the Long Beach Community Center, where he executed his first murals (which have since been painted over). Valadez is a photo-realist, who gets his imagery or "Image Bank" from Mexican tabloids. He is one of the leading Chicano painters.

Biographical/Historical Note

John Valadez (1951-) is a muralist and painter from Los Angeles, California.


This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators. Funding for this interview was provided by the Smithsonian Institution Latino Fund.

Language Note

English .


The digital preservation of this interview received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.

How to Use This Collection

Authorization to quote or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from John Valadez. Contact Reference Services for more information.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with John Valadez, 1996 November 25-1997 May 12. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.