Israel Francisco Haros Lopez was born in East Los Angeles to immigrant parents of Mexican descent. He brings his firsthand knowledge of the realities of migration, U.S. border policies, and life as a Mexican American to his work with families and youth as a mentor, educator, art instructor, ally, workshop facilitator and activist. He studied at U.C. Berkeley and received a degree in English Literature and Chicano Studies followed by an M.F.A in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts. At formal and informal visual art spaces, Israel creates and collaborates in interdisciplinary ways using a variety of mediums including poetry, performance, music, visual art, video making and curriculum creation. His work addresses a multitude of historical and spiritual layered realities of border politics, identity politics, and the re-interpretation of histories. Israel’s art practice engages explorations of truth telling and healing, radically shifting from abstraction to stark political surrealism to ancestral motifs based in meso american art. The work is never just a matter of puncturing a wound, but rather a pathway into visioning futurities and healing generational trauma. Even within the harsh themes of genocide and gentrification the poignant exploration is balanced with sarcasm and laughter in order to place the audience in personal self reflection.
Israel Haros has been involved in community arts for 20 years in the Bay Area, Oakland, Los Angeles and New Mexico. Having lived in New Mexico since 2009, Israel has dedicated his community arts practices to ensure the creation of future art leaders in communities of color. He has received numerous awards, most recently the Mayor’s Award for Culture Connects and an international award from the Kindle Project for his community arts engagement. He is one of the founders of both Alas de Agua Arts Collective and the New Mexico Mural Project. Over the last 5 years his passionate dedication and boundless energy has led the way for Alas de Agua Art Collective, a grassroots artist collective on the Southside of Santa Fe run for and by artists who identify as Chicanx, Latinx, Indigenous, immigrant, queer, trans, and/or undocumented. Alas de Aguas embodies Israel’s core beliefs that art heals, art saves lives, and art is an excuse to come together. Through Alas he has sought to remove barriers and address disparities affecting marginalized communities an example of which is his support of the professional development of numerous artists including Santa Fe natives featured in local news as emerging community arts leaders.
In 2020 and 2021 Israel Haros responded creatively to the harsh isolating impact of COVID on local communities by building a partnership with other nonprofits and local grassroots entities to help develop Full Circle Farm – a COVID safe space for the community to gather, grow food, celebrate and make art on county-owned land at San Isidro Crossing and Agua Fria Street.
For Info About the Alas de Agua Art Collective please visit the Alas website.