With hundreds in attendance, a new public art installation by local art collective The Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF) titled “Flight” was dedicated on March 1, 2018 at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center. In celebration of Latino Heritage Night at the Center, the artists and their artwork were acknowledged at a special presentation during the Sacramento King’s NBA game halftime show.
Three co-founding RCAF member-artists Esteban Villa, Stan Padilla, and Juanishi Orosco created the 27 x 11 foot, three-paneled mural that now graces the interior of the arena. According to the artwork’s project manager, RCAF co-founder Juan Carrillo, the legacy piece tells the story of humankind's multi-generational evolution from Quetzalcoatl to El Sexto Sol, The Sixth Sun, and reflects our community, who we are and what we value. The three artists worked with their children and grandchildren to complete the mural.
The project idea came from Supervisor Serna who wanted to acknowledge the RCAF's profound legacy. Serna, the son of the late Joe Serna, Jr. – an RCAF co-founder and Sacramento's first Latino Mayor – also assembled the funding to make the project possible. Serna’s office commissioned the work in coordination with the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission, City of Sacramento and The Sacramento Kings.
Supervisor Serna explains The Royal Chicano Air Force significantly shaped who he is today. “I feel it’s important for elected leaders to integrate expression, activism, social justice and community service.”
The Sacramento-based Royal Chicano Air Force art collective, initially named Rebel Chicano Art Front, was founded in 1969 with the mission of creating a bilingual/bicultural space where artists could exchange ideas, provide mutual support for each other and create art in the form of murals, political posters, music, painting, sculptures and poetry. It contributed greatly to the California Chicano experience and served as an influential platform to advance the cause of the late labor leader Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. The artists’ work on “Flight” occurred more than 40 years after completing a similarly themed mural titled “Metamorphosis” in Downtown Sacramento.
Visit “Flight” by RCAF on Facebook.