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People often ask us where we create our posters and how are able to create as much work as we do. In 2003 Jesus and our compañera Favianna Rodriguez decided to start their own studio and collectivized their resources in order to do so. They received a couple of grants that helped seed the studio needs and the Taller Tupac Amaru was born. In addition to some of the financial resources they combined to buy inks and paper they also received alot of love from artists who were "retiring" out printmaking who passed on their equipment for almost nothing.
I joined the Taller in 2007 and also began to contribute to the collective resources used to keep the studio going. We own our own printing table, drying racks, a homemade exposure unit and regularly use the resources from poster sales to buy supplies like ink and paper. From time to time we receive material donations like paper or smaller printing racks that help us keep the work going.
The Taller Tupac Amaru allows the three of us to share a studio to meet our printing needs. Last month we won Best of the Bay Art Collective by the East Bay Express.
About a year or so ago our comrades and fellow artists Josh MacPhee and Alec "icky" Dunn interviewed Jesus, Favianna and I about the history of the Taller and about how we approach doing our work. Josh, Alec, Jesus, Favianna and I are all part of Justseeds.org aartist-worker owned cooperative. So when Josh and Alec were visiting the Bay we sat down for over three hours to talk about our our personal histories as artists, the history of the Taller and our thoughts on how twe approach creating political art.
They conducted this interview for the inaugural issue of Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics and Culture.is a full color, 140 page book about international political art, graphics, and culture
In their blog entry, they describe the reasons for wanting to produce Signal: (read full entry)
We wanted to highlight current artists who we thought were doing compelling work, and also to draw connections to the rich history of art and culture associated with resistance and social movements. We especially wanted to share some of the incredible graphics and cultural documents we've seen from other struggles around the world, as most North Americans suffer from a myopia about events taking place beyond our borders.
Jesus and I, as Dignidad Rebelde, enjoy sharing a studio with Favianna since we all are creating political graphics and have some shared and some unique approaches to doing our work as artists. Together we are all contributing toward keeping the traidtion of Xicana printmaking alive.
Mission Icons in a Time of Change
August 21st-29th, 2010
Opening Reception: Saturday August 21st, 8:00pm-10:00pm
The Levi's Workshop
580 Valencia Street (at 17th)
San Francisco, CA 94110
This exhibition opening culminates a furious week of printmaking at
the Workshop by local artists Jesus Barraza, Melanie Cervantes, Art
Hazelwood, Txutxo Perez, Ivan Lopez, Rachel Anne Palacios, Ana Teresa
Fernandez and Jos Sances. Curators Rene and Rio Yanez have partnered
with Plaza Adelante, the 19th street community center, to ask local
printmakers for their take on the ever-changing nature of the Mission
district. Come to enjoy great art and our special tequila drinks, but
stay for The Great Tortilla Conspiracy.
To attend the opening reception please RSVP at:
I was very happy to be asked by Eva Martinez to design and print a poster for El Tecolote's 40th Anniversary, a neighborhood newspaper that has been very important to the community. I have worked with them in the past on projects with Juan Fuentes, one of the first collaborations I did with him was a poster for their Encuentro de Canto Popular. There a re bunch of old screen printed posters Juan Made in their office it is always great to check them out when ever I stop by the office. There is an anniversary poster made by Rene Castro that hangs in their office that I have always liked and have hoped that one day I would have the opportunity to work with them on a similar project. Working on this project was a lot of fun, Eva from El Tecolote wanted to use photos from the archive which gave us the opportunity to go through the photo archive that Linda Wilson has been organizing. There were so many photos to go through, in so many category's, i had a stack of photos and Linda scanned them for me. I hope to be able to go back and take some more time to look through the photo archive and work on more projects with El Tecolote.
A few weeks back at the La Peña block party celebration I had the chance to run into Dolores Huerta. We were tabling that day and we had one of the prints I had made of her, Dolores was flipping through the stack of prints and found her image. I was super shy but Melanie convinced me to go up to her and give her the print. I was happy she liked the image and wanted to take a picture with me, it took me four years but I finally gave her a copy.