Jose Loza: Muralist Curates Zombies and Robots

One part of the Downtown A LOT event taking place tonight is the Guts N’ Bolts Art Show. The exhibition, curated by Jose Loza for the Cultural Alliance of Long Beach, and on display at the Bungalow Arts Building, features sculpture, paintings, and photographs of robots and/or zombies.

Loza began his artistic life at 15, when the city’s Mural Arts Program [MAP] began doing work in his neighborhood.

“The mural arts program hired professional muralists and paired them with community to paint murals with the assistance of youth. I volunteered as an assistant to other accomplished muralists who painted murals in the city. I received much of my arts education as an apprentice.

“We would help the artist with basic painting such as filling large areas of a mural and cleaning brushes. The experience really gave real insight into the process of mural painting, but also taking it seriously as a job. I was lucky enough to be mentored by muralists such as Elliot Pinkney, Art Mortimer, Ben Valenzuela, and Ricardo Mendoza, amongst others. I have been able to assist on over 30 murals since I was 15.

“After high school, I received a small scholarship from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena to take several classes, and I have taken various art courses at LBCC. I am currently going to school to obtain an Art Education degree.

“Working with public art has been a blessing to me. In the past 15 years I have been able to see how art can affect communities for the better. The public mural is a large production from start to finish, and I have always felt I get to live where I work based on the relationships you develop with the community you work with. I have always been eager to share what I know about painting publicly and help any one who wants to learn about the craft.”

Loza creates work that speaks to his life experience.

JoseLozaPainting“I include social narratives into my work. They deal with the environment, community, violence, and politics. My style fluctuates based the the idea or theme interpreted. I love to incorporate people I know into my works. It makes it intimate and real. 

“I am currently going through a period of self reflection on how I want my art to be a reflection of me. I have been focusing on producing work which is more personal, introspective and smaller in scale. Mural painting is my passion, and has allowed me to make a living. As any artist will tell you, it has not always been easy but, since I was young, I have had support from my family with all my crazy endeavors. I have recently married, and this has only strengthened my ambitions to be good and better at what I do.”  The Guts N’ Bolts show features a diverse array of styles and media, and Loza has done an excellent job of making the disparate elements feel like a cohesive whole.

“My role as curator was to use the space CALB donated to showcase the works in the most respectful manner. I wanted to make sure it was all about the artists and their work. nothing less. My piece in the show, ‘A Couple’s Embrace,’ deals with the roller coaster of emotions that occur in a relationship. This couple just happens to be zombies. I had good friends of mine, who are married, pose for this painting.”

The exhibition is located at 737 North Pine Avenue. It is part of a larger event, the Guts N’ Bolts Short Film, Music, and Art Festival, which is taking place tonight from 6-9 PM at the Renaissance High School for the Arts, located on the North West corner of Long Beach Boulevard and 8th Street.

The A LOT initiative is presented by the Arts Council for Long Beach.

Learn more about Jose Loza at LPMurals.com.

Discover the many other A LOT events at ALOTLongBeach.org.

Learn more about the Cultural Alliance of Long Beach at CALBArts.org.

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