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The park in the northeastern corner of McKinley Village is named in honor of Ricardo Favela, who was a professor of art at California State University Sacramento, an accomplished artist, and a founder of the renowned artists collective, the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF).

Born in 1945 in Kingsburg, California to parents who were migrant farmworkers, Ricardo grew up in the Sacramento valley town of Dinuba, pursuing his artistic studies first at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia and then at Sacramento State where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1971.

Favela was best known for his silk screen posters that heralded political, community, and artistic events and causes and for his ceramic works that celebrated Chicano life and culture. His art imparted powerful political and social commentary, including support for the farmworker rights movement that was close to his heart.

He began his teaching career as a graduate student and became a full-time professor in 1997.
Throughout his career, he was known as a generous mentor to his students. His office was a center of activity and haven for students, particularly those from migrant worker families like himself. He encouraged his students by often exhibiting their work alongside his own, by teaching them to be proud of their cultural roots and to keep their culture alive through art, and by inspiring them to get involved in community issues.

In 1969, Ricardo joined with Sacramento State art professors Jose Montoya and Esteban Villa and others to form the RCAF (originally named the Rebel Chicano Art Front), an activist artists collective based in Sacramento founded to support the civil rights and farmworkers movements, celebrate Chicano culture and history, and create a venue where artists could come together to exchange ideas, provide mutual support, and make available to the public artistic, cultural, and educational programs and events. The RCAF became widely known for their artworks, including fine art posters and murals in Sacramento and throughout California, as well as for their wonderful sense of humor and community activism. In 1972, the RCAF created the Centro De Artistas Chicanos that became the springboard for multiple community programs including the La Nueva Raza Bookstore (with its Galeria Posada), RCAF Danzantes (cultural dance venue), RCAF Graphics and Design Center, and the Barrio Art Program for underprivileged children.

Ricardo passed away in 2007. Through his artwork, his extraordinary mentoring of art students, and his contributions to the work of the RCAF, he helped shaped Sacramento’s contemporary art and cultural scene.