CURATORIAL STATEMENT by John Jota Leaños Galería de la Raza has formed part of the rich mural tradition of the Mission District since 1969. Thirty years of temporary murals have engaged the community of 24th and Bryant Streets with artistic challenges that have at times transformed the experience of this intersection into a political encounter. In 1999, Galería inaugurated the “Digital Mural Project," a series of computer-generated murals aimed at allowing artists working with digital imagery and photography access to the public art space. The five digital murals at the Galería de la Raza have challenged political boundaries from unique Latino/a perspectives. The sixth digital mural, “Heaven,” by L.A. based digital artist Alma Lopez, searches for new directions in understanding Latino culture. Alma’s digital mural is one of the most tender, yet radical public artworks that we have seen at the Galería. “Heaven” communicates an intimate story of struggle and rebellion against cultural expectations and religious pressures. The difficult rechazo of Tradition imposed on the main character in the mural is shown on the face of the abuela whose expression and gesture of asco reveals the pain of rejection from loved ones. However, Alma’s retablo creates an intimate space in which there exists a sacred connection of love, far outweighing any social influence. A message of understanding and openness to difference and new tradition is the delicate resolution that “Heaven” puts forth to the Mission District community.