The following comes from an August 7  Ventura County Star article by Anne Kallas:

As they watched the giant murals with their vibrant depiction of early life at the California missions being hung, the descendants of artist Aurelio G.D. Mendoza felt close once again to the man who died in 1996.

“It takes me back. I imagine him painting and remember his conversations with his grandchildren. He was very attentive and very cultured,” said Maya Flores, of Covina, one of Mendoza’s grandchildren who gathered at the San Buenaventura Mission gift shop and museum on Friday for the installation. “It’s so beautiful.”

The three paintings are part of Mendoza’s “El Camino Real” series, which were never displayed during his lifetime. The series consists of one 48-inch-by-102-inch painting created in 1936 of indigenous Aztecs worshipping at the foot of Jesus Christ on a cross.

The other two paintings were created in 1976. They show Mission San Diego — Father Junipero Serra’s first mission — in one painting the same size as the 1936 work, and another, smaller portrait of the newly canonized Catholic saint.

The Rev. Thomas Elewaut, pastor of Mission San Buenaventura, said that he had the paintings installed in the mission’s gift shop so that anyone stopping by the store will be able to enjoy them.

Elewaut said that Serra’s mission can be applied to today’s world.

“This is a year of organization and evangelization. We are recognizing his ministry and trying to emulate it in the modern world,” Elewaut said before acknowledging some of the controversy surrounding the conversion of native Chumash who lived in California for more than 10,000 years before the Spanish arrived.

“We are addressing those concerns through dialogue,” Elewaut said. “We are working with local Chumash elders to do an assessment of the museum and how best to tell the story of the great Chumash people who were here for so long.”

Elewaut said he and representatives of the Chumash, who include elder Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, are working to rewrite the signs around the mission to include references to the Chumash, as well as translations into the Chumash language, which is being revived.