1994 Inductee - Raoul E. Mora

1994 Inductee - Raoul E. Mora

Performing Arts

Raoul E. Mora was born on June 5, 1939 in French Camp, California and attended local Stockton area schools. Upon graduating from Edison High School in 1957, Raoul was awarded a full scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute where he received a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts. He has been employed by Stockton Unified School District and San Joaquin Delta College since 1963.

Raoul’s parents, Jesus and Amada, migrated to California during the Mexican Revolution of 1910. His father left Jalisco when he was seventeen years old and his mother left Michoacan at the age of ten. His knowledge of Mexico’s history and its culture came from his parent’s teaching. Both parents survived the repatriation of the 1930’s and had seen what had happened to the Japanese in the forties. So, like many other Mexican parents during that period, they felt that his brother Jess Jr., his sister Emma and Raoul should know about Mexican heritage and maintain the Spanish language, in the event that the family would someday return to Mexico. He felt that it was this pride in his culture that made him strong growing up in a Pre-Civil Rights Stockton.

His interest in art was also inspired by his family. On the days when they could not work, his uncles would play their guitars and mandolin or draw the comics that they saw in the newspaper. Raoul’s mother would remark that his uncle’s love for art came from Raoul’s grandfather. She explained that his grandfather had been a santero and artesano on the hacienda where she was born. This sparked an interest in art for Raoul. By the eighth grade, Raoul’s interest in art had blossomed. It was at that time that he met one of his first role models, Mr. August C. Day. He went by the name of Ben Day. Like Ben Day, Raoul decided that he too would be an art teacher. This great teacher saw the potential that Raoul possessed, and had confidence in him and his abilities. Mr. Day was quite an inspiration for Raoul, which caused a major directional change for him and his life. This teacher and friend made it possible for him to secure a scholarship to attend college.

Mr. Mora and his wife Linda are avid collectors of Mexican Folk-Art. He uses their collection to teach Latinos and non-Hispanics about the artistic and creative heritage of the Mexican people. Raoul feels it is extremely important for Latinos to learn about the great achievements of their people. Their art collection has been on loan to numerous museums, galleries, schools and public libraries in hopes of making Chicanos aware of their potential to create great and beautiful art.

Since 1970 Raoul has held various summer sessions and mini courses for children through the University of the Pacific and the Stockton Arts Commission, where he is a charter member. He has been an instructor for art classes held at the Alan Short Gallery for elementary school children. He has been an active artist and recipient of numerous awards in art, including a Purchase Award at a National Drawing and Print competition held at the Haggin Museum. Mr. Mora has exhibited and sold his art for the past ten years at the Collector’s Gallery at the Oakland Museum. The San Francisco Mexican Museum has purchased eight of his graphics and one painting for their collection. Mr. Mora is a member of the Stockton Art League and has been involved with promoting and helping in art related local activities, Unitarian Art Annual, Arts Commission, Children’s Art Program, Robert McKee Children’s Art Annual and U.O.P.’s Children’s Art Program.

Raoul was selected to be part of the ethnic Hispanic U.S. Traveling Exhibit. Franklin High School asked Raoul to present the Cultural “Cinco De Mayo” to staff and students, serving as a “Mentor Teacher” for the students. He is especially proud that he was invited by the Crocker Art Museum to participate in the “Ofrendas” display for “Dia De Los Muertos”. This Ofrenda was part of his major exhibit entitled, “Tesoros De La Raza”, Treasures of Mexican Art.

His interest in Mexican art and culture also created an interest in Mexican history and the history of the Mexican American in California and the United States. Over the past twenty-five years he has been able to assemble a collection of books and cultural materials on this subject, many of which are now out of print or no longer produced. Raoul has traveled extensively in Mexico and New Mexico, and has traveled much of the “Camino Real” in California.