America Discovers Itself


Created: 1991

Sponsor: Latin American Youth Center

** This mural has been retired **

DC artist and arts administrator Carlos Arrien worked with Latino youth to create this dramatic mural in a small courtyard adjacent to the Latin American Youth Center in Columbia Heights. The struggle for Latino identity in the face of colonialism is expressed in Arrien’s interpretation of the self-portrait by the great Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. In the background, a multi-level structure reflects the imposition of Colonial and modernist architecture on the pre-Columbian pyramids. The native textile design stretching across the bottom symbolizes tradition, art, and culture produced by ordinary people, sustaining and recreating identity through their daily craft. The courtyard and mural were replaced by the Capital City Charter School in about 2000.


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