Ignacio Gomez is a talented artist, sculptor, and muralist from Los Angeles, California. Before earning his Bachelor's of Arts from California's Art Center College of Design in 1970, Gomez would paint murals throughout his time in the Army. After graduating, Gomez bloomed into a respected artist that would be known all over the world. Gomez has returned to countless elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, trade schools, universities, and organizations to give back to future generations of artists. Westminster is grateful to have such a talented artist signed on to work on this historic mural and landmark for the city.
Ignacio Gomez has been recognized for his art in The United States, Japan, Europe, and Mexico. He has made beautiful tribute monuments for many cities, including:
- The César E. Chavez for San Fernando, California
- A headstone for César E. Chavez in La Paz, California
- A 6-foot statue of Cesar Chavez with 10 farm workers behind him holding crates of fruit and vegetables for Riverside, California
- A life-size bronze statue of a Gabrielino Indian woman and a 60 foot long mural for the New Pacoima Neighborhood City Hall
While Orange County is not widely recognized as a seat of the civil rights movement, all Americans are indebted to the actions of Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez, and four other families, who challenged segregation in local schools by suing to end educational segregation in Orange County.
The 1946 court ruling of the Mendez v. Westminster School District case had an immediate impact on Southern California and ultimately paved the way for Civil Rights Legislation nationwide. Yet, we have no plaques, no statues, and no landmarks honoring its historic significance.
The Mendez Tribute Monument and Trail will be a celebration of this epic achievement for all to enjoy. It will serve as a gathering place for people of all races, ages, creeds to come together in remembrance of this historical event, reminding all of us that no dream is too small, and that the future is what you make of it.