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Muralist John Zender Estrada to Paint Mural for Wood River Land Trust
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John Zender Estrada painted this mural at The Hunger Coalition’s Bloom campus during his last visit to the Wood River Valley.
   
Thursday, August 4, 2022
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

John Zender Estrada, who is famous for his murals of Cesar Chavez, will be painting a mural for the Wood River Land Trust’s Pollinator Trail on Saturday.

Zender will be painting in plein air at the WRLT’s Colorado Gulch parking lot on Red Feather Way beginning at noon Saturday, Aug. 6. Red Feather Way is at the site of a new subdivision off Broadford Road on Hailey’s south side.

The community is invited to watch him at work and ask him questions about his painting and his life’s work.

 
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John Zender Estrada’s painting of Cesar Chavez was purchased by Calysta Phillips and hung in schools to inspire local youth.
 

Zender, who was born and raised in East Los Angeles artist, visited the Wood River Valley in March 2021. He brought his mural depicting Cesar Chavez to the valley during a celebration of the farm worker activist’s career. While here, he painted murals for The Hunger Coalition and The Building Materials Thrift Store in Bellevue.

Estrada grew up in a rich diverse cultural environment populated by Chicano youth. He moved to Mexico City when he was 15 where he became enamored with the famous Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Since, he has produced more than 300 murals himself, creating a body of Chicano art across the country.

Herbert Romero of Project Tools Success and Tammy Davis of the Crisis Hotline coordinated his visit. Romero and Zender were friends in Los Angeles and, when Zender came to the Wood River Valley last year, he was struck by the deep connection to the community and land that Romero had developed.

That inspired him to return to further explore those connections, said Liz Pedersen, manager of Communications and Community Giving at the Wood River Land Trust.

“Watching Zender work is awe-inspiring—he’ll hear a story or see a connection and bring the spark to life on the spot,” she added.

Zender also plans to paint a mural at La Cabanita in Hailey at noon Sunday, Aug. 7, according to Romero. And he hopes to find a place to display his art during Friday’s Gallery Walk.

To learn more about Zender, visit his gallery at https://divergeartgallery.com. The gallery features the work of several artists working in different categories, including Urban Graffiti, Contemporary, Modern, Abstract, Chicano, Prison, Aquatic and Nature.

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