November 3, 2023


Community educator and glass and tile artist, Carlos Valenzuela has helped facilitate the creation of hundreds of mosaic tile murals across Southern Arizona with local youth.
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For Carlos Valenzuela art is a family tradition and a lifelong obsession. At a young age, he learned from his mother that “if you could make something with your hand and endow it with enough love that you could feed your children,” and that’s what he’s been doing most of his life. The community educator and glass and tile artist had helped facilitate the creation of hundreds of mosaic tile murals across Southern Arizona with local youth. These murals, which are nearly ubiquitous in South Tucson and New Pascua, reflect community heritage, cultural values, and history so deeply that they have become symbols of the community in and of themselves.

This story is dedicated to Carlos’ mother, Amelia H. Cruz, who died on August 29, 2021. Rest in Peace.

Para Carlos Valenzuela, el arte es una tradición de familia y una obsesión de por vida. Desde muy joven, su mamá le enseñó que “si puedes crear algo con tus manos y dotarlo con mucho amor, podrás alimentar a tus hijos,” y eso es lo que ha hecho la mayoría de su vida. El educador comunitario y artista de vidrio y de azulejo ha facilitado la creación de más de cienes de murales azulejos a través de Arizona del Sur con la juventud local. Estos murales, los cuales son omnipresentes en el sur de Tucson y Nueva Pascua, reflejan la herencia comunitaria, valores culturales e historia tan profundamente que se han convertido en símbolos de la comunidad por sí mismos.

Esta historia es dedicada a la madre de Carlos, Amelia H. Cruz, quien murió el 29 de agosto del 2021. En paz descanse.

Amelia Higuera Martinez 1949-2021
Amelia Higuera Martinez 1949-2021
Amelia Higuera Martinez 1949-2021

Producer/Editor: Andrew Brown
Videographers: Andrew Brown and Nate Huffman
Post-production audio: Jim Blackwood
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