Jesus Barraza is an activist printmaker based in San Leandro, California. Using bold colors and high contrast images, his prints reflect both his local and global community and their resistance in a struggle to create a new world.
Barraza has worked closely with numerous community organizations to create prints that visualize struggles for immigration rights, housing, education, and international solidarity. In 1998 Barraza was a co-founder of ten12, a collective of digital artists. He has also worked as Graphic Designer for the Mission Cultural Center/Mission Grafica, where Calixto Robles, Juan R. Fuentes and Michael Roman mentored Barraza in various screen-printing methods. In 2003, he co-founded the Taller Tupac Amaru printing studio to foster resurgence in the screen-printing medium, where he has printed over 400 editions. Additionally he is a partner at Tumis Inc., a bilingual design studio helping to integrate art with emerging technologies.
Printmaking has allowed Barraza to produce relevant images that can be put back into the hands of his community and spread throughout the world. He believes that through this work and the work of Dignidad Rebelde, he is playing a role in keeping the history of graphic art activism alive. He proudly continues the tradition of graphic art in the spirit of Jose Gaudalupe Posada, OSPAAAL and Juan R. Fuentes, whose artwork has been part a pivotal part of social movements. Barraza prides himself on his continued connection to his community and his availability as an activist artist who can be relied on for help.
As a teacher, Barraza has conducted printmaking workshops at Michigan State University, El Faro de Oriente (Mexico), de Young Museum (San Francisco), Festival Internacional de los Nuevos Vientos (Mexico). As well as presentations at ICON6 (Los Angeles), Facing Race (Chicago), U.S. Social Forum (Detroit) and Latino Art Now! (New York).
Barraza has exhibited at Galeria de la Raza (San Francisco); Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe); El Paso Museum of Art (El Paso); de Young Museum (San Francisco); Mexican Fine Arts Center (Chicago); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco); and internationally at the House of Love & Dissent (Rome), Parco Museum (Tokyo), Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juarez (Mexico) and El Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore (Bolivia). He was a 2005 artist-in-residence with Juan R. Fuentes at San Francisco’s prestigious de Young Museum, and is a recipient of the “Art is a Hammer” award in 2005 from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics and the “Exemplary Leadership Award” from the SFSU College of Ethnic Studies College in 2010.