By Jennifer McGraw

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – In the north entrance of the Golden 1 Center now stands a 27-foot tall mural and many say it’s more than just a beautiful display of colors and shapes.

“It really turns the space into something different, something really special,” said Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna.

The art work is called Flights, and it honors the Hispanic heritage rooted from those in Sacramento known as The Royal Chicano Air Force.

“For me, it really represents kind of a new momentum,” he said.

The project idea came from Serna who wanted to acknowledge the profound legacy of the RCAF.

Its history dates back to the early 1970s as a group of artists and activists who began to educate and promote political awareness through art.

“Our community quite frankly stands for the celebration of diversity. It’s not something to be shunned or something to be sanitized or dismissed; it’s really something to be celebrated,” he said.

Serna, the son of the RCAF’s co-founder and Sacramento’s first Latino mayor Joe Serna, Jr, said the unveiling is a sign of inclusion and solidifies the sanctuary city status.

“Against the backdrop from some of the ugliness that we see with the immigration debate, this probably couldn’t come at a better time,” Serna said.

Created by RCAF co-founders Esteban Villa, Stan Padilla and Juanishi Orosco, Flight is the latest large-scale public artwork to grace Sacramento’s world-renowned arena. Each of the three artists worked with their sons, daughters, and grandchildren to complete the mural.

In a room full of close family and friends who are familiar with the culture, they hope it sparks the community to ask what it is.

“They will see it asked the question who is the RCAF? I think the inspiration that brings is really one of its more important characteristics,” Serna said.

“I think they’re going to say wow Sacramento has the most amazing artists, the most amazing artists and look at what they’ve done,” said Gina Montoya, daughter of the RCAF.

It’s a colorful message during a controversial time, and they hope it will live on through generations who pass by.


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