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OPPY Award Winner 2003, Francisco Gerardo Mendoza

Francisco Gerardo Mendoza is a teacher of art, a teaching artist, a professional artist, and an active member of the Pilsen community. Francisco is dedicated to bringing the history and culture of Mexico to CPS students. His students have constructed murals inside and outside of school, using paints and mosaics. Francisco’s works, along with the work of his students, has significantly changed the visual landscape in Pilsen.

If you want to view their work displayed on the outside of a school, drive by the old Orozco, now Cooper School, at 1624 W. 19th Street. These outdoor murals were funded in part by previous Teacher Incentive Grants.

Francisco has been teaching for 17 years and was named a Golden Apple finalist in 2002. Raised in South Chicago, his father passed away when he was three. His mother heroically raised three children. Francisco dedicates his OPPY award to “my mother, my students and to my teacher colleagues.”