In August of 2010, the Mexican federal government, in partnership with City of Morelia in Michoacán, Mexico, and the Mexican Consulate in Seattle, made plans to donate a small bronze bust (24”x18”x16") of José María Morelos, namesake of Morelia, Yakima’s Sister City, to the City of Yakima. The bust was delivered in February by the Mexican Consulate in Seattle to the care of the Y-MSCA. The occasion for the donation is that 2010 was the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence, and Yakima was selected due to its official ties to Morelia as its Sister City. This is the first-ever gift of art from the Federal Government of Mexico to the State of Washington. This piece is now an important part of Yakima’s public art collection, and it symbolizes the diversity of our community.
The plaque reads as:
José María Morelos By Michel Leal Germán
This sculpture celebrates the partnership between Yakima, Washington, USA and Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico through the work of the Yakima-Morelia Sister City Association (est.1999). The Y-MSCA promotes mutual understanding among communities through cultural, economic, and educational initiatives.
Y-MSCA Project Partners: City of Yakima, Mexican Consulate of Seattle, City of Morelia, and the Yakima Arts Commission
Morelos was a Mexican Roman Catholic priest and revolutionary leader who led the Mexican War of Independence (1810-1821) against Spain, assuming its leadership after the execution of Miguel Hildalgo in 1811. Morelos led the Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought independence from Spain. Morelos is a national hero of Mexico who himself was a mestizo of mixed Amerindian, African and Spanish ancestry. In his honor, the state of Morelos and city of Morelia is named after him.
The artist is Michel Leal Germán (1957) of Tonaya, Jalisco, Mexico. His work combines organic and figurative elements in bronze and metal. After earning a business degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), he studied art in Holland and Mexico. He also collaborated monument construction with four different sculptors. Since 1986 he has been the Director of “Campanas Sonoras S. A.” (a foundry) in the branch of sculpture and other melting processes.
Established in December 2009, the Commission works to enhance the cultural and aesthetic qualify of life in the City of Yakima by actively pursing the placement of public art in public spaces and by actively seeking to expand public access to visual and performing arts. It currently has 15 members appointed by the City Council.
Posted August 10, 2010
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