Mural- Honoring Oscar López Rivera

Murals of East Harlem

East Harlem/El Barrio is home to a great number of murals that build on a long tradition in Latin American art, wherein residents may express themselves and tell their stories. Protecting these significant cultural symbols has become a great challenge, but an important endeavor, in a rapidly changing neighborhood.

East 107th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues
Natalie del Villar, Marthalicia Matarrita and Xen Medina

The original mural on this site paid tribute to two Puerto Rican political prisoners, Oscar López Rivera and Avelino Gonzalez Claudio. The project was conceived in 2010 by members of the National Boricua Human Rights Network along with local residents. The badly weathered and vandalized mural was re-imagined in 2015 by local artists commissioned by East Harlem Preservation, Inc., with support from the Historic Districts Council. Since Avelino Gonzalez Claudio was released in February 2013, the artists re-focused the mural on Oscar López Rivera, the last Puerto Rican political prisoner in the U.S. who is now 73 years old and has spent 35 years in prison. Because he often speaks about his desire to return to his homeland to walk along the seashore, the artists incorporated his wish into the design.

Watch East Harlem Preservation's video on the creation of the mural

*image Photo courtesy Marina Ortiz, East Harlem Preservation, Inc.