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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Chicanx/Latinx Student Center and Wilson-Short muralist returns to WSU

Joseph “Nuke” Montalvo participates in panel and lecture-workshop
Joseph “Nuke” Montalvo posing in front of his mural, “Flor y Canto,” in the Chicanx/Latinx Student Center.

Los Angeles-based muralist Joseph “Nuke” Montalvo visited the WSU Pullman campus for the third time since the ‘90s on Sept. 29 to participate in two events: a panel at 1 p.m. at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU and a lecture and workshop at 4:30 p.m. at the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center.

Nuke has painted two murals: “Sexto Soul” in 1997 at Wilson-Short Hall and “Flor y Canto” in 2009 in the CLSC.

CLSC retention counselor Elvia Diaz said a student once asked her about her thoughts on Nuke’s art.

“It’s interesting but I don’t understand why [“Flor y Canto”] says that ‘education is the fusion for revolution,’” Diaz said she told the student. “I would rather say ‘the fusion for evolution.’”

The main purpose of Nuke’s visit was to sign a letter of provenance for his art in the Chicanx/Latinx Student Center establishing his art’s authenticity and describing its history, as well as work on the preservation and conservation of his murals. This signing took place after the panel.

Hosted by Diaz, the panel also featured Lucila Loera, Student Affairs Office for Access and Opportunity executive director; Raymond Herrera, WSU graduate school associate vice provost; and Rafael Pruneda, WSU Tri-Cities bridges transfer advisor.

Loera said she pointed out the empty walls of Wilson-Short Hall in 1996. Loera’s experience in California included murals as an integral part of the culture, she said. Loera said the idea was brought into the picture and a letter was written to WSU explaining the idea of murals.

Herrera was responsible for organizing funds for the mural, which coincided with Nuke’s completion of the mural and the annual Semana de La Raza event.

“Unless we continue to tell the story, unless we continue to bring the artist back to reaffirm our space and touch up where we need to, it will fade away,” Herrera said.

Pruneda played a role in bringing about the second mural located at the CUB. The initial plan was to relocate the first mural in Wilson-Short Hall, Pruneda said. However, the then-CLSC advisor Louis Sanchez suggested getting a new mural instead, and Nuke returned to WSU in 2009.

Pruneda said he had visited Nuke when he was giving “Flor y Canto” the final touches.

“‘Last thing I’m going to add here is super important,’ [Nuke] says adding a rainbow to the green vines,” Pruneda said Nuke commented. “‘We really need to be supportive of our LGBTQ community.’”

Nuke ended the panel by dedicating the day to his late mother.

“We have to continue the work that was left behind by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the WPA murals that were done nationwide,” Nuke said.

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About the Contributor
SIA CHHEDA, Evergreen reporter
Sia is a sophomore majoring in psychology. She has been working with the Daily Evergreen since fall 2023 and is driven by the curiosity to understand how individuals make decisions to shape our world.