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The second section of the mural includes, from the left, Cabrillo’s ship, merchants and early settlers of San Diego, the Point Loma Lighthouse, and the Spirit of St. Louis. PHOTOS WITH KINDNESS

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San Diego from 1769 to 1969, by Jorge Imaná.  The mural is 63 meters long and 7 meters high.  It is located on the west side wall of Zino's Hair Designers at 2168 Chatsworth Blvd.

San Diego from 1769 to 1969, by Jorge Imaná. The mural is 63 meters long and 7 meters high. It is located on the west side wall of Zino’s Hair Designers at 2168 Chatsworth Blvd.

Slide show

Zino Bongiovanni in front of his family's building and business, Zino's Hair Designers, next to Jorge Imaná's mural.

Zino Bongiovanni in front of his family’s building and business, Zino’s Hair Designers, next to Jorge Imaná’s mural.

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The late Bolivian artist Jorge Imaná in his La Jolla studio.

The late Bolivian artist Jorge Imaná in his La Jolla studio.

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Zino Bongiovanni first met Ivan Imana outside his Point Loma hair salon, known for the large format mural of San Diego history painted on the side of the building by a renowned South American artist in the 1960s.

“He was taking pictures and crying,” said Zino of his encounter a few years ago with the son of Bolivian artist Jorge Imana, who immigrated to San Diego before painting the historic mural on the west side of the building at 2168 Chatsworth Blvd. “I said, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ [Ivan] said, ‘My dad painted this mural and he just died and I have a lot of emotions.’ ”

Fast forward to the present. After previously receiving Ivan’s number, Zino texted him when the mural of Ivan’s father passed the mid-century age limit. “[Zino] said to me: ‘It’s been 50 years since your father painted this, shouldn’t we do something?’ “said Ivan.

The informal commemoration of Jorge Imana’s 52-year-old mural in San Diego took place on Friday, July 30th, with a press conference and soiree at Zino’s International Hair Designers.

“My father painted this mural in 1969 for the 200th anniversary when Cabrillo discovered San Diego,” said Ivan, noting that memories of it “came back”.

Ivan said his vivid memory of his father’s Cabrillo mural painted in the summer of 1969 was when he saw my father being interviewed by co-host Regis Philbin on Channel 8’s ‘Sun Up San Diego’. It was a big deal because my father was on TV. “

Imana’s bicentenary mural was commissioned by the building’s owner, David Fleet, a real estate developer and son of Ruben H. Fleet, after whom the Balboa Park Space Theater is named. At that time, after its completion, the mural by Jorge Imana was dedicated with much fanfare, crowned by the award of a special prize by the government at the time. Ronald Reagan.

Fleet, an art collector who befriended Imana, built the Chatsworth Building and Imanas Galerie Artists Showroom in the space now occupied by Zinos. Imana eventually bought the building from Fleet and later sold it to Point Loma Bank. It was bought by Zino in 2001.

The 2.70 meter high, 63 meter long mural tells the 200-year history of San Diego, beginning with the settlement of San Diego and the establishment of the San Diego Mission by Father Junipero Serra in 1769, to the majestic Arch of the Coronado Bride opened in 1969. The mural shows indigenous Kumeyaay / Diegueno, the Point Loma Lighthouse, a US Navy ship and sailors, Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of San Diego, the California Tower in Balboa Park, the polio vaccine inventor Jonas Salk, tuna fishermen, a surfer and a lunar lander depicting the role of San Diego’s aerospace company in the US space program.

When asked about the impact his father’s mural had on San Diego, Ivan said, “I hope you appreciate the history of San Diego, as my father and David Fleet did. The mural itself was a while ago and has an interesting story all of its own. I am happy to be able to tell you again. “

Ivan added, “This mural is one of the most important things my father would be very proud of, especially because it is talked about after he dies. This mural and my father’s relationship with Fleet were the reason I was born and raised in San Diego. My father’s relationship with Fleet had a huge impact on my family’s development. “

Born in Sucre, Bolivia in 1930, Jorge Imana’s work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and cities around the world including La Paz, Paris, Madrid, Moscow and Barcelona. His pictures hang in the Bolivian Embassy in Washington, DC and Moscow as well as in several South American museums and art galleries.

Zino’s is a full service high end salon. Zino says he has a special bond with Imana and his mural. “The stylists who work at Zino’s Hair Designers are artists themselves,” he said. “We only need to update our artwork about every four weeks.

“About his devotion to Imana’s mural, Zino concluded: This work belongs to San Diegans. I’m just the security guard. “

“I am blessed,” added Zino of the historic mural that adorns his building. “I get very close every morning. Every time I look at it, I notice something new, but every detail is iconic San Diego. “


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