Pasadena’s Cultural Affairs Division is celebrating Latino Heritage Month by spotlighting a prominent artwork from the City’s Public Art Collection: Homage to Quetzalcoatl by artist Dora De Larios, according to an announcement by Acting Director of Planning and Community Development Jennifer Paige.
Located at the Ville Parke Community Center in Northwest Pasadena, this monumental sculptural fountain was completed in 1992 and is constructed from brass, cement, and brightly colored ceramic tile.
As its title suggests, the artwork pays homage to Quetzalcoatl —- the Nahuatl name for the feathered-serpent deity of ancient Mesoamerican culture, representing wisdom, the arts, and spiritual enlightenment.
Dora De Larios is one of America’s leading clay artists working today, with an impressive list of accomplishments ranging from place settings for the White House to a grand cement wall sculpture in Nagoya, Japan. She has taught ceramics at USC and UCLA and served as a representative from the American Craft Council to the World Craft Congresses in Oaxtecpec, Mexico; Kyoto, Japan; and Vienna, Austria.
De Larios was born in Los Angeles to Mexican parents and raised in a downtown neighborhood surrounded by Japanese families that spoke Spanish. Her limited use of English hindered her verbal comprehension in school and probably contributed to her use of a visual vocabulary. Her family’s frequent visits to Mexico significantly influenced her work. At the age of 8, her parents took her to the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City where she was awestruck by the 24-metric-ton Aztec calendar stone. She felt profoundly connected to her Mexican ancestry and knew from that point on she would become an artist. Both Pre-Columbian pottery and monolithic stone sculptures played an important role in her decision to work in clay.
Information about the artwork and the artist will be promoted on the City’s social media channels throughout the coming weeks.
For more information about the City’s Public Art Collection, visit: www.cityofpasadena.net/arts or contact Corey Dunlap, Public Art Coordinator, Planning & Community Development Department: (626) 744-7547.