Local News

Saturday, Aug 24 2013 07:29 PM

Bronze likeness of Cesar Chavez installed at national center in Keene

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    President Barack Obama places a rose at the gravesite of UFW co-founder Cesar Chavez on Oct. 8, 2012. Obama was at La Paz in Keene to announce the establishment of the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument. At right is Chavez's widow, Helen Chavez.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

A life-size bronze bust of civil rights and farm labor leader Cesar Chavez was unveiled at the National Chavez Center at La Paz in Keene on Saturday.

Commissioned by the Cesar Chavez Foundation and created by Los Angeles artist Bea Goldstein, the 16.5-inch tall sculpture will be prominently displayed in the main entryway of Villa La Paz, the facility's 17,000 square foot education and conference center, the foundation said in a news release.

President Obama visited the center last fall to dedicate a small portion of the 187-acre Tehachapi Mountain property as the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, the 398th unit of the National Park Service.

At Saturday's event, Goldstein, 88, joined Chavez foundation President Paul F. Chavez, United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez, Helen Chavez, the widow of Cesar Chavez, and other Chavez family members and movement leaders.

According to the release, Goldstein depicted Chavez as she remembered him during the late 1960s or early 1970s, when he first moved to Keene. Goldstein is a longtime farm worker movement supporter and knew Chavez -- but she also relied on period photographs to capture the likeness. She donated the sculpture to the National Chavez Center.

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