Earlier this week, Jose Cuervo announced their launch of the Tradicional Mural Project, an initiative to support and celebrate Latino arts and culture across the United States. This contest will invite artists over the age of 21 to submit original mural paintings inspired by their hopes and dreams for the Latino community, as well as the Jose Cuervo Tradicional bottle. Murals – much like un buen tequila – are an authentic part of Mexico’s history and culture. Through this artistic platform, Jose Cuervo, which is partnering with the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) on this project, aims to create a dialogue between our past and future: using the rich cultural traditions of Mexico’s history to encourage Latinos to look toward tomorrow.
Artists from all over the U.S. are invited to submit their murals, standing to win a grand prize of $15,000, along with an additional $15,000 to be donated to a non-profit arts organization in the winner’s community. The top 10 submissions – selected by a jury composed of NALAC members, Jose Cuervo Tradicional and critically-acclaimed actor and director Clifton Collins, Jr. – will be displayed at public artistic venues throughout the nation.
Clifton Collins, Jr. enjoying some Jose Cuervo
I had a chance to speak with Collins, who has appeared in such films as Traffic, Capote, and Babel, about his involvement with the project: “I get to check out all this sweet mural work, I’m super stoked,” he told me. “I think projects like this are really important to keep young people with big dreams inspired, to have an outlet for them and to keep them doing positive things. It’s also good to have an outlet for the culture, a culture that was a big part of my upbringing.” Collins emphasized the importance of mural art in the Mexican community of Los Angeles, where he was raised. “I’m like an ex-hood rat. Back in L.A. when some homeboys got killed they’d put up a mural, and even in celebration they’d put up murals.” He also expressed the hope that the mural project will resonate beyond the Latino community: “I’m very proud of my culture, but this isn’t a Latino-centric world. This is a world of humans. We all bleed the same color.”