The influence of Catholicism and the presence of the Virgin Mary on street art will be discussed in Costa Mesa on Sunday, Oct. 23.

Hosted by the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC, “Guadalupe: Holy Art in the Streets” is a free event featuring renowned muralist Fabian Debora in conversation with USC art history Professor Lisa Pon, Ph.D. “Catholic images, especially of the
Virgin Mary play prominent roles in urban art in Orange County and across Southern California,” said IACS President Rev. Dorian Llywelyn, S.J. “We’re excited to highlight the important connection of faith, spirituality and art with an innovative event featuring two fascinating and high-profile speakers.”

Pon is a professor of Art History at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Her first book, “Raphael, Dürer and Marcantoni Raimondi: Copying and the Italian Renaissance Print” was published in 2004 by Yale University Press.

Debora is a prominent Chicano muralist, with Catholic spirituality playing an important role in his work. Born in El Paso, Texas and raised in East Los Angeles, he was influenced by the Catholic faith of his grandmother and mother, and especially their devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Debora discovered his love for art when he was six years old. But as he grew older, he struggled with significant challenges: poverty, gang life and battling drug addiction. For a time, he was incarcerated, which provided an opportunity to hone his artistic technique.

Today, Debora serves as executive director of the Homeboy Art Academy, which provides support and arts education to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated youth and adults. His award-winning art, which is found on streets across Southern California, is showcased in solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Latin America, and is featured in private collections around the globe, prominently features Catholic and spiritual themes.

“Guadalupe: Holy Art in the Streets” is hosted by the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC, an independent Catholic research center located at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. IACS furthers the intellectual work of the Catholic Church, supports scholars and artists, produces books, and hosts conferences and lectures.

“Guadalupe: Holy Art in the Streets,” takes place on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m., at the Hilton Orange County, Costa Mesa. Free RSVP at

Full story at OC Catholic.