Esteban Villa, born August 3, 1930, in Tulare, California, is a nationally recognized artist and muralist. A Professor Emeritus at California State University, his teaching career began in 1962 at the high school level and includes assignments at Washington State University, D.Q.U., Davis, and numerous lecture and slide presentations, art exhibits and mural projects at Universities mainly in California and surrounding states. He has served as an art consultant to schools and organizations including Centro de Artistas Chicanos, and has done art programs in the Prison System. He is a founding member of the Royal Chicano Air Force, a collective of artists, professors and students, which was formed amid the Chicano Movimiento's push for social and political rights.
Villa's work is frequently shown in Sacramento at the Crocker Museum, Galeria Posada, and Luna's Cafe. He can also be found performing as a singer and guitarist. In a recent article the Sacramento Bee spoke of Villa as "an extraordinary man: a mural artist, musician, teacher and community leader who is known for his barrio art, which played a role in the Chicano movement of the late 1960's and 70's. The movement in many ways asserted the positive value of Mexican culture."
Some of Villa's most recognized works and exhibitions have included "La Super Chicana", "La Arte Cosmica de Esteban Villa", "Los Olvidados" (the homeless), "Menudo Eaters", "Portraits", and murals at Southside Park, The Underpass to Old Sac., Macy's Parking Lot (downtown Sac.). Projects include a 3-day workshop for the Mental Heath Dept. resulting in a 4'X 9' canvas tryptich painting titled, "Please Help" (about Suicide Intervention and Prevention), and a similar tryptich in tribute to the late Cesar Chavez shown in a Fresno group art exhibit. Both of these tryptichs were seen at Luna's Cafe in October/November, 1993. Villa exhibited his 1993 Sabbatical series of acrylic paintings at the California State University, Sacramento, opening on August 8, 1994 and closing on October 2, 1994.
In addition, Villa has been involved in the production of the Channel 6 (PBS) documentary "Pilots of Aztlan", a film about the Royal Chicano Air Force, which he co-founded. This film, in which he appears along with other RCAF members, was aired on Channel 6 in January, 1995. He exhibited a major survey of his paintings and related works at the Galeria Posada in February through March, 1995, titled "The Art of Esteban Villa", and was in a group art show at Encina Art Gallery during Feb/March, 1995.
Villa was involved in the planning of a mural developed by schoolchildren, Freeport Elementary School and SMAC on the Freeport Elementary School site in the Spring of 1995.
He presently continues to paint and draw daily.