Night Rider – Chicano Park, San Diego
We spent some time this weekend shooting a wonderfully polished Harley for a friend of ours, Travis. He suggested this setting after scouting the area. Chicano Park is decorated with tens of brilliantly coloured Murals composed by local Artists. Towards the end of the shoot we started to draw the attention of many of the Locals who came to marvel at Travis’s Bike and look at all the cool camera gear. Towards the end of the Session, a Gang showed up, jumped out of their huge vehicle, began blasting music, cracked open beers and were having fun. Needless to say, we beat a hasty retreat and back to the relative safety of Ramona.
Chicano Park is a 7.9 acre park located beneath the San-Diego-Coronado Bridge in Barrio Logan, a predominantly Mexican American-immigrant community in central San Diego. The park is home to the country’s largest collection of outdoor Murals (67), as well as various sculptures. earthworks, and an architectural piece dedicated to the cultural heritage of the community. For the magnitude and historical significance of the murals, the park was designated an official historic site by the San Diego Historical Site Board in 1980, and its murals were officially recognized as public art by the San Diego Public Advisory Board in 1987.
There is currently a movement to have the park listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to its association with the Chicano civil rights movement. Chicano Park, like Berkeley’s People Park, was the result of a militant (but nonviolent) people’s land takeover. Every year on April 22 (or the nearest Saturday), the community celebrates the anniversary of the park’s takeover with a celebration called Chicano Park Day.