Order this print by clicking here.
In early August we had the opportunity to work with Cee Palalagi an artist from Aotearoa, she was in the Bay Area as part of the Emerging Indigenous Voices artists residencey. Cee stayed in town a few days extra after the residency ended and came to work on a print with us. She had some ideas about what she wanted to do and worked quick to put her drawings down on paper, then we digitized everything and put the composition together and printed out seperations in under 12 hours. We really like the work she is doing and were happy to work with her on this piece, here is what she wrote about her print.
My print portrays a Kaitiaki = protective guardian. The Kaitiaki is a reminder to to never forget your roots and where you come from. The Kaitiaki also wears a fitted cap which represents our connection to all things of the spiritual and physical world. The female figure on the cap is called Hawaiiki, she embodies the essence of Tino Rangatiratanga -Self Determination.
I am super excited to announce Dignidad Rebelde will have it's first ever artist reception on the streets of the city. Mark your calendars and make it out to Berkeley to celebrate our most recent exhibition of work on Addison between Milvia Street and Shattuck Avenue.
SEEDS OF LIBERATION is a exhibition featuring work by Dignidad Rebelde, a graphic arts collaboration between artists Melanie Cervantes & Jesus Barraza. Emerging from the everyday struggles of Third World, Raza & Indigenous peoples, Dignidad Rebelde produces art intended to transform people’s stories into a radical visual language that is then returned to those who inspired it in the first place. Working primarily as poster artists, Dignidad Rebelde continues working in an important artistic tradition deeply rooted in popular social movements throughout the Americas.
An artist reception will be held on Friday, October 7, 2011 from 6-8pm.
Venue: Addison Street Windows Gallery
Location: 2018 Addison Street, Berkeley 94704
Order the screen print of Mis Semillitas by clicking here
Mis Semillitas is a portrait of a mother in the late stages of her pregnancy. This piece is based on a piece I painted in 2005 when I just getting started as a practicing artist. I only have one snapshot of the painting (that I no longer have access to) and I really wanted to revisit and recreate the piece. This time I translated the piece using more bold, flat color and I create a new palate of colors for it.
In order to create a new pallete for the print- I decided to paint a mock up using more painterly strokes to create the piece. I am still in the process of putting the finishing touched on the painting but I wanted to share what I have so far.
I really enjoyed creating this piece. I reflecting on all the friends who are having babies and the joy that emanates from them and tried to capture that in this piece. If you would like to see the original painting click HERE
I WAS FEATURED ON COLORLINES.COM ALONG WITH SOME OTHER REALLY AWESOME ARTISTS. GO TO READ HERE.
I am so honored to be included in Stokely Baksh's article on artists who are redefining the immigration debte through art on Colorlines. I have read Colorlines, starting when it was in print form, since 1998.
I grew up in Los Angeles in the South Bay in a little city named Lawndale. In order to find a copy of Colorlines at a local newstand I would have to go to a neighboring beach city called Redondo Beach. It was so ironic because my experience in the city could be summed up as a long list of interactions with racist beach goers and residents. The message was clear. Brown folks are not welcome here.
So this September when I read a recent MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) update about how the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's decision on Comité de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach. I was quite pleased.
The MALDEF update went on to state:
The precedent-setting decision strikes down the City of Redondo Beach's anti-solicitation ordinance as a "facially unconstitutional restriction on speech." Citing "well-established principles of First Amendment law," the en banc Ninth Circuit concluded that the city's "Ordinance fails to satisfy the narrow tailoring element of the Supreme Court's time, place and manner test."
Today's decision sets a strong precedent on day laborer rights and stands as one in a line of successful cases brought by MALDEF on behalf of the rights of day laborers in the Ninth Circuit over the last dozen years. MALDEF represents the plaintiffs, Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), in the case.
NDLON is the organization that has helped highlight the work of artists like myself as because the know "culture resistance has energized the masses despite congressional inaction " to reform the policies and practices that are negatively impacting brown communities.
It reminds me that racial justice needs to reach every corner of this country and that we need to use every tool we have to say "we will not tolerate racism today or any other day." Colorlines shaped my consciousness as I was coming into it, it helped me realize that I would love pursuing a degree in Ethnic Studies and that I wasn't alone in my desire to see structures of racism crumble away. These structures can't be moved unless the people who reproduce them, everyday, change to. This is why I make art. Because we have to move people too.
Today the words of 19th slavery abolishionist and Unitarian minister Theodore Parker ( Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often used this quote and is often mistakenly is attributed for it) ring truer than ever " The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
In July we had the opportunity to work with a group of Indigenous artists who were visinting the Bay Area to participate in the Emerging Indigenous Voices: A New Generation of Artists program. After the program ended we had the opportunity to make screen prints with three artists out of the five that stayed. A couple of the artists wanted to do a graffiti piece before they left town and we had the idea to hook them up with Leslie Lopez from EastSide Arts Alliance who found a wall across the street where they could paint a mural. This is a little video put together by Kewana Duncan, an artist from Aotearoa, who was part of the project and helped paint the mural. You can see more of his videos here.
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