You may have caught Jimmy Longoria’s work when it was shown at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. But the Hopkins artist isn’t exactly confined to pristine galleries.
He’s best known for using murals to combat gang violence. He partners with residents in rough neighborhoods to paint colorful, swirling murals that make it nearly impossible for gang members to see rival graffiti. Last summer, he worked with Minneapolis’ STEP-UP Summer Jobs Program to help youth develop work skills. He even painted the Obama field office and saw one of his works used on an exclusive batch of messenger bags given to corporate executives.
Longoria’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has awarded him this year’s “Living the Dream” award, which recognizes “those whose work embodies Dr. King’s message of justice for all and commitment to community.”
Longoria will be honored the Park and Recreation Board’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration taking place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Recreation Center (4055 Nicollet Ave. S.).
That’s just some of the recognition Longoria’s been receiving lately.
He hung five pieces in the office of the newly elected Edina Sen. Melisa Franzen (DFL-District 49), and attended her swearing-in ceremony Tuesday.
The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago also acquired two of his honoring palas, or shovels, for its permanent collect. Visitors will be able to see the palas at an exhibition that runs Jan. 17 through April 7.