Internationally renowned lecturer explores legacies of Mexican architect Luis Barragán, sculptor José Sacal

Feb. 14, 2024
Lecturer Gregorio Luke | Mexican Architect Luis Barragán| Mexican Sculptor José Sacal
Lecture & Exhibit
Tucson, AZ
February 6, 2024
Gregorio Luke gives a lecture on Jose Sacal and his sculptures.

The College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture hosted internationally renowned lecturer, Gregorio Luke, who gave two distinct presentations about influential Mexican figures – Architect Luis Barragán and Sculptor José Sacal. 

The lectures were organized by CAPLA Lecturer Sandra Bernal, who is a UArizona Hispanic Serving Institute (HSI) Fellow, and Senior Lecturer Oscar Lopez. Bernal expressed her enthusiasm for supporting events showcasing the achievements of diverse individuals in the arts and architecture community.  

“I have witnessed how students and community members admire the art of José Sacal and the design of Luis Barragán, and these lectures were intended to inspire our students across CAPLA the way they inspire people around the world,” Bernal said. 

Lauren Harper, a second-year Bachelor of Architecture student, has attended all the lectures in the series this semester including the lectures about Barragán and Sacal. She appreciates the diversity in the speakers and learning about different design approaches. 

“The lectures have all been so informative because so many of the architects come from different regions and have different processes behind their work,” Harper said. “It’s interesting to hear it especially from them versus just reading articles. Today’s lectures have just been so inspiring.” 

The morning lecture in the Sundt Gallery drew a full crowd, with standing room only as students and community members filled the seats. Luke expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to share the work and ideas of Barragán with the students. 

“Luis Barragán is an architect of architects. A liberator of architecture. If nothing else, I want students to know that architecture is an artform,” Luke said. 

The lectures and the Sacal exhibit were planned in collaboration with the Sacal Foundation, the UArizona Bookstore, The Consulate of Mexico in Tucson, UArizona Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives, UArizona Mexico Initiatives, and Sculpture Tucson.

“The morning lecture was one of the most moving lectures of my career,” Luke said. “I was so touched. It was full of students and there wasn’t a single cell phone in use or a text being sent. Feeling that the students understand that they too can be an artist, was so moving.”

As part of the lecture featuring the work of José Sacal, the exhibition “A Universal Mexican” is currently on display throughout the CAPLA Sundt Gallery. The exhibit comprises Sacal’s surrealist expressions of prominent historical figures such as Mahatma Ghandi, Winston Churchill, Louis Armstrong, and Abraham Lincoln. 

CAPLA Dean Nancy Pollock-Ellwand highlighted the importance of embracing the culture embedded in Tucson and the southwest, emphasizing the college's commitment to transformational learning and support for the intersection of the arts and design. 

Claire Croudo, a representative of the Sacal Foundation, expressed gratitude for the partnership and collaboration with Sandra Bernal, without which the lectures and exhibition would not have been possible.

View the Lectures


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