Xochitl Nevel-Guerrero (born 1954) is a painter, muralist, and mask maker. Her first mentor in art while growing up in the 1960s and 1970s was her father, Raymundo Saltiel Nevel, the artist-activist known as Zala. Since painting her first mural in high school in 1972, Nosotros Venceremos, she has dedicated her life to creating and teaching in the fine arts. She studied at Laney College, Peralta Community College, and University of California, Berkeley, receiving her bachelor’s in fine arts from California State East Bay, Hayward (then known as California State University Hayward) in 1980. Together with fellow artist Ester Hernández, she assisted in the painting of the Mujeres Muralistas’ mural Latino America (1974). At Laney College she joined several groups, including Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o/x de Aztlán (MECHA) and El Teatro Calcetín, she explained in a July 23, 2021 interview. Nevel-Guerrero’s artworks are inspired by her dreams and Mexican and Indigenous cultures, interweaved with social and political justice themes. Her multiple murals include A Vision of Our Ancient Ways, Healing the Past, Present, and Future (1977) at La Cliníca de la Raza in East Oakland. In the 1980s, alongside her father, mentor Ray Patlán, and others, she participated in the PLACA mural projects, such as Youth of the World Let’s Create a Better World (1984). She was honored by Precita Eyes Muralists for the Master Muralist award in 2000. She also painted the figure of María Sabina, a well-known curandera (medicine woman), restoring the health of another woman by laying her hands on her forehead for the mural Maestrapeace on the Women’s Building in the 1990s (see interview July 23, 2021). In 2013, Nevel-Guerrero established Taller Xochicura in the Bay Area, where she continues to share her knowledge of mural making, art, and Chicana/o culture.
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