Muralism and Art in Greater El Monte

Dublin Core


Muralism and Art in Greater El Monte




Southern California is home to a rich history of muralism. These public works claim space, preserve and reclaim a history that is excluded and distorted within the dominant narrative, and assert a sense of identity and pride within marginalized communities. By being public facing, however, murals are vulnerable to natural and social deleterious forces. Age and weathering take their toll, while preservation and restoration efforts are often incomplete and selectively funded. More direct erasure of murals in the form of whitewashing and censorship have roots that tie back to the beginnings of the muralism movement in greater Los Angeles.

This collection focuses on murals in El Monte and South El Monte from the 1970s as well as more recent murals by the South El Monte Arts Posse.


SEMAP holds all rights, title, and interest, including literary rights and copyright, to the oral histories collected and made available on this site by SEMAP oral historians. Oral history narrators retain the non-exclusive right to copy, use, and publish their oral histories during their lifetimes. South El Monte Arts Posse (SEMAP) provides access to the materials for the purposes of research and education ( See our note about using and citing oral histories on the homepage.


1970s to 2021

Collection Items

Mural on exterior wall.
This photograph depicts a mural created by students participating in the 1977 summer arts program at Valle Lindo High School. The program was funded by the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) and taught by artist Ron Reeder.

Youth in front of murals.
These photographs depict several murals created by youth as part of South El Monte City's outreach projects.

Valley Mall
This is a photograph from Ron Reeder's personal collection of the Valley Mall, the same block he depicted in his proposed mural "Godzilla Visits El Monte".

El Monte Mural Stirs Ban Move
In 1977, the El Monte city council extended an existing ban on murals on all commercial and industrial buildings.

Poster for Teatro Urbano play The Silver Dollar
This poster feature images from a play produced by Teatro Urbano about the killing of journalist and civil rights activist Ruben Salazar in the Silver Dollar Cafe by the Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy.

Untitled video commemorating South El Monte’s All-America City Award for 1974-1975
This video commemorating South El Monte’s All-America City Award for 1974-1975 outlines several of the city's initiatives that helped it earn this award, including a gang-outreach program using muralism to combat graffiti.

Fernando Corona and Alonso Delgadillo in front of mural
Artists Fernando Corona and Alonso Delgadillo pose in front of the mural they created in collaboration with South El Monte Arts Posse (SEMAP).
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