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Candice López, professor, San Diego City College Graphic Design
Candice is an educator and design activist who teaches at an inner
city community college in the heart of downtown San Diego. The campus
serves a diverse student population and is located on the trolley line
linking the U.S./Mexico border region. For 20 years the SDCC program has
worked to open the door for minorities hoping to enter the design
profession. She established a study abroad program and exchange with the
UNESCO world heritage city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where she
lives part-time and has led study abroad programs to Italy, Mexico,
Spain and Switzerland. Candice challenges her students to think about
social responsibility, culture, communication and the development of
global competencies to thrive in our increasingly interconnected world.
López founded the Urban Art Trail project that transformed miles of
urban areas plagued by blight and drug activity. Together with students,
professional designers and community volunteers the group painted
murals, sidewalk poetry and hundreds of electrical boxes with colorful
graphics. Artful street benches, mosaics and pocket parks were created
with nesting boxes for birds. Serving as arts and culture chair of the
San Diego downtown vision plan she worked to promote design and public
art as an integral part of new development. A former V.P., Education and
Community Outreach chair she established the AIGA San Diego Link
program to work with at risk high school students with an interest in
art and design.
Teaming up with her husband, illustrator Rafael López, she continues
to paint large-scale murals with elementary school children, teachers
and families and is committed to bring art into our public school
campuses and classrooms. In a collaborative grassroots effort the couple
worked to win Latino voters in the swing states by developing an image
that became an Artist for Obama national campaign poster.
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