'My Art Saved My Life:' San Jose Muralist Launches Exhibit After Battling Cancer - NBC Bay Area
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'My Art Saved My Life:' San Jose Muralist Launches Exhibit After Battling Cancer

'We're in a Salad Bowl:' San Jose Muralist Inspires Students Through His Art

San Jose is filled with dozens of murals and the latest installation can be found at Millbrook Elementary School. The cubism mural was painted by local artist Miguel Machuca in hopes of teaching students about race and diversity.

(Published Friday, Aug. 10, 2018)

After several years of waiting, San Jose artist Miguel Machuca is finally preparing for an exhibit that will not only showcase his artistic work but display his own psychological journey with cancer.

The Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara will be hosting the “Drawing Light from Darkness” exhibit starting Aug. 11 and will display a series of dark and haunting images revealing the artist's harrowing fears of fighting lymphoma cancer.

“I knew that I had to live. I knew that I had to fight,” Machuca said. “I really believe that it was the love and support from everyone around me and my art that saved my life.”

Now that Machuca has won the battle, he’s ready to share his journey and remind others that there is always a light that can be found in the darkest moments.

He spends a lot of time in his studio working on pieces with chalk and an old electric eraser but he hopes he’ll have more opportunities to create art and inspire people.

Miguel Machuca and a couple of volunteers spent an entire weekend painting a mural for students at Millbrook Elementary School in San Jose.
Photo credit: Jennifer Gonzalez / NBC Bay Area

You may have seen some of Machuca’s other work at Millbrook Elementary School where he used cubism to teach students about race and diversity.

“Those [shapes and colors] were there to let the kids know that we are in a salad bowl of different races, we are in a diverse place,” Machuca said. “You’re going to have different things that don’t look the same but if they all fit they can make a really strong structure.”

If you’re hoping to catch Machuca’s exhibit, it’ll be at the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara from Aug. 11 to Oct. 21.

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