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The Sacred Now: Faith and Family in the 21st Century

Artist Statement by Mural Arts Lead Muralist Cesar Viveros


For years I dreamed of painting a piece that could to deepen the subject of
spirituality on public venues, so when I heard about the possibilities of
creating a piece of public art to commemorate the visit of Pope Francis for
the 8th Annual World Meeting of Families, I saw this as a personal call.
For years, I was intrigued about how I would be prepared to have a family of
my own, to be responsible for a wife and kids. Even if I thought that nobody
is ever ready, when the moment came, I realized I was lucky enough to have
been able to grow up in a place of faith, under the guidance of my parents to
believe in the inner strength that all human beings possess since we are all
the reflected image of the Supreme creator. When the time came, I found out
that that faith prepared us for the future. Once in a while when I recall these
memories, I cant help but smile when the words, Train a child the way he
should go and when he is old he will not turn from it, comes back to me, I
feel how lucky I am when things fall in the right place at the right moment.
When Pope Francis comes to Philadelphia, it will be a historical moment in
time and I want that moment to be registered visually with images that stand
out. I want to paint about the wisdom that comes with years in the figure of
Pope Francis and what he represents, and the natural wisdom we possess to
support our family in this endless cycle of life. I want to paint about the
stages of life where we all get to grow and absorb the environment
surrounding us, about the early years when we all are closer to the belief of
that superior force which guides us.
When people comes to see the mural, I want them to see themselves in the
images that speak of the relationships existing among our family, not just
the one enclosed between our own four walls such my wife and kids, or in
our extended family of our brothers and sisters, our parents and
grandparents, grandkids and nieces but further outside of our blood
relatives, reaching out to our brothers and sisters in the same faith that we
profess and even further in the figure of these who may have differences of
our faith but still are common with us throughout the fact that we all are
families of faith.
I want these images to reflect that progression of time from couples
nourishing babies and these babies becoming good men and women
comforting the elder or the single parent staying the course of events that
get them to deal with children in their own.
The foundation of the composition relies on images that reconcile the urban
aspect of our city streets (brick walls of buildings with the windows bars
sometimes stained) with the imageries inside these spaces considered
sacred (faith nourished with recognizable faith objects as a chalice and a

baptismal font) Other symbols of strength are the triangle shaped by


architectural elements such the dove representing the holy spirit, the lamb
reminding us of Jesus Christ, and the continuity of the alpha and the omega,
the beginning and the end). Regardless of where we are, we all can find faith
and spirituality. I want to believe that it is outside, outside our inner circle,
where it is needed the most. For that reason, I kept the very background of
the wall intact integrating these new added architectonic elements of faith
with the natural view of the building, like taking the faith and beliefs outside
the walls of the physical place of worship straight to the streets.
The center and left side of the walls speak of relationship, interaction,
constructivism, actions, inclusion, compassion, and every moment of life that
gives us the opportunity to share who we are by living this mission of love.
The right side speaks more about the personal relationships that fuel our life,
the pure belief, the faith of these things that we do not touch, but that we
believe exists and the certainty of what we hope, of what we do not see but
what we wait for. These ideas are represented with the image of an infant
since I want to believe that infancy is the age that our beliefs are purer, and
it is good to remember that sometimes we should live fully alive, as a child
may live. This is what I see when I look at my childrens eyes: a sentiment of
belief and hope that keeps me moving strong and fresh full of confidence of
the possibility that we all can share and have families fully alive. After all, the
greatest joy I have is my family.