Mario Lara is an installation/interventionist creating temporary and permanent artworks that engage the environment and public space. Mario’s projects confront the public in a playful manner as a strategy for inviting questions about personal space, identity, and place.
The worlds of public transit and public art intersect at the Metropolitan Transit System’s (MTS’s) Cesar E. Chavez/25th and Commercial Trolley Station.
"Achievement/Progress/Community: In the Spirit of Cesar E. Chavez," a public artwork by a local art team led by local artist Mario Lara. The project was dedicated on March 23, 2006.
The 21-foot tall landmark honors the memory and spirit of humanitarian and community leader Cesar E. Chavez (1927-1993), who was a civil rights advocate, labor leader, a crusader for nonviolent social change, and an environmentalist. It features a perforated stainless steel eagle sculpture, inspired by the United Farm Worker’s union "Huelga" eagle icon, with directional signs to local neighborhood landmarks, colorful bench mosaics detailing the life of this great humanitarian, and stainless steel panels with a quote from Cesar Chavez in English and Spanish, proclaiming — "We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community."
Lara, along with artists and community activists John Hiemstra, Louise Torio, Todd McKerrow, Pita Ruiz, and Ruben Seja, were awarded the grant to create the artwork through a competitive process administered by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture in collaboration with Partners for Livable Places San Diego. Louise Torio is also a six-year SANDAG employee, who served as project coordinator and liaison between the agencies and the community. The artwork is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, City of San Diego Council District 8, and the Central Commercial District Revitalization Corporation (CCDRC).