Let’s Get Free: The Transformative Art and Activism of the People’s Paper Co-op showcases nearly ten years of cultural organizing campaigns and collaborative public art by the People’s Paper Co-op (PPC), an ongoing project of The Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia. Looking to women in reentry as society’s leading criminal justice experts, the PPC uses art to amplify their stories, dreams, and visions for a more just and free world. Curated by Raquel de Anda, Sharita Towne, and Daniel Tucker, the exhibition explores the PPC’s work as a model for effecting change through art and helping free people from an exceptionally adversarial and punitive criminal justice system.
Opening Reception, Friday, March 24, 5 p.m. -7 p.m., Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery
Imaging Abolitionist Futures Symposium, March 23 & 24, VCAM
Co-curated by artist, scholar, and curator Amalia Mesa-Bains and MOLAA Chief Curator Gabriela Urtiaga
Guadalupe – Queen of the Water, Mother of the Land of the Dead (Chapter # 1) is a group exhibition that explores and interrogates the influence, iconography, and the practices of devotion surrounding the spiritual and cultural symbol of the Virgen de Guadalupe in the Chicana/o/x and Latinx contemporary cultural scene.
As a research project, this exhibition presents one of many compelling arguments to examine and expand the image and power of one of the most important figures of our time, the Virgen de Guadalupe. Through the works of art exhibited, we delve into the various themes, contexts, and pictorial language that have been adapted and incorporated into the image and meaning of the Virgen. These include many contemporary and historical movements – the Virgen being used as a banner of freedom, as an immigrant’s protector, and as a symbol for feminism, environmentalism, indigeneity, and anti-colonization.
This selection of artists and artworks responds to 3 curatorial axes. In the Aura of the Virgen, we review the relationship between the spirit and mythic memory of ancestors that connect Guadalupe as a maternal figure with the Madre of Mexico, Tonantzin, and other goddesses. We also examine the Power of the Virgen, reinterpreted as manifesting in the supreme protection of poor people, in the protection against injustice, and as a shelter against all struggles. This culminates in popular manifestations of the Virgen in the Southern Californian landscape as Mother Nature – a powerful force that revalorizes women’s freedom and asserts the interconnectedness of all women as creators of life, as fighters for social, political justice, and revolution – uniting the scars of the land with the possibility of infinite rebirth and renewal, a counter to the imposition of Western vision.
Together with these artists, we invite you to participate in the conversation about this iconic figure that has transformed our existence from the 16th century to the present.
William and Anna Schlossman Gallery
Below the Surface showcases pieces that can help teach about the principles and elements of art and design to a larger audience. In recognition of the 10th Anniversary of the Plains Art Museum Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Center for Creativity, the Museum’s Education department and our teaching artists selected pieces from both our permanent collection and from a collection on loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for this exhibition. The works encompass specific elements of art materials and imagery that communicate in relatable ways. In our institution, a significant percentage of the community visits our galleries within our school-related programs, so our teaching artists are a major liaison to our visitors. We are recognizing that artistic knowledge is not only sequestered in the realm of collections and curatorial, and the curatorial but also we uplift the knowledge, experiences, and voices of the artists who teach and dedicate their time to connecting our institution to the region. This exhibition teaches art to viewers and helps inspire them to create themselves.
1: Bruce Davidson, Los Angeles, 1964, 12 5⁄8 x 18 1⁄4 in. Gelatin silver print, Los Angeles County Museum of Art permanent collection
What Would You Say?: Activist Graphics from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Reception: September 23, from 3-6pm
Since the mid-20th century, California has been a beacon of both inventive design and political activism. Exploring the intersection of these realms, this exhibition uses case studies from LACMA’s collection to demonstrate how designers and artists championed civil rights, opposed wars and injustice, and pressed for change. Skilled communicators by profession, they distilled complex issues into eye-catching images, often appropriating commercial art techniques—from newspaper broadsheets to screen prints to digital downloads—to distribute powerful imagery despite limited resources. Others led workshops and formed printing collectives, providing movements with new methods for disseminating their messages. Their works express both outrage and optimism, going beyond protest to envision alternative ways of living. Key figures and organizations including Emory Douglas of the Black Panther Party, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville of the Woman’s Building, Self Help Graphics & Art, and street artist Shepard Fairey achieved widespread acclaim and notoriety, galvanizing political movements and empowering marginalized communities.
Image credit: Michael Mabry, War = Death, 2003, digital file, dimensions variable, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of the designer through Another Poster for Peace, image source: www.anotherposterforpeace.org
The Latinx Research Center is pleased to inaugurate a permanent exhibition, “Latinxs in California.” A year in the making, this interdisciplinary, collaborative project brings together the contributions of artists, faculty, emeriti, community members, and undergraduate and graduate students. The exhibition draws upon the historical expertise of scholars and the research that has informed the work of the artists included.The purpose of this exhibition is to point visually toward a broader and more complex history of California’s diverse peoples, places, and moments that might otherwise remain hidden in mainstream accounts – a history that predates the formation of the state and whose roots extend back to the Indigenous Peoples of this continent.
Since the late 19th century, artists in Mexico have used printmaking as a tool for disseminating news, sharing political views and celebrating Mexico’s national culture. Throughout the 20th century, Mexican printmakers synthesized text and images in prints that documented the events of the Mexican Revolution, promoted leftist politics (including anti-imperialism) and, during World War II, warned Mexico’s citizens of the dangers of fascism. In other prints, artists honored Mexico’s cultural traditions, from Day of the Dead to folk dances, often within the framework of the country’s post-revolutionary national identity. Inexpensive to make, reproduce and distribute, prints in Mexico have been a popular means for trying to shape public opinion.
This BIG IDEA project offers an opportunity to dig into the history of printmaking in Mexico, consider the deep connections between printmaking and the political, and explore the printmaking tradition among Mexican and Mexican American artists today.
The exhibition features prints from The Calle Collection, including works by José Guadalupe Posada and prints by many well-known artists affiliated with the Taller de Gráfica Popular in the mid-20th century. Alongside these historic works are prints by contemporary Mexican and Mexican American printmakers, including commissioned works by printmaker Christie Tirado. The exhibition illustrates the powerful role the Mexican graphic tradition has played in shaping political discourse, and the ways that contemporary artists use that legacy now.
19TH- AND 20TH-CENTURY ARTISTS
Fernando Castro Pacheco
Arturo García Bustos
José Chávez Morado
José Clemente Orozco
José Guadalupe Posada
SVMoA invited printmaker Christie Tirado, based in Yakima, Washington, to participate in a residency in the summer of 2021. Tirado interviewed a variety of members of the Wood River Valley community who have been essential workers during the pandemic, and she made linocut portraits of seven of those whose work ensured that our community has continued to have access to safe and clean schools, healthy food, grocery stores and health care. The exhibition features Tirado’s portraits of these essential workers alongside their stories.
During her visit to the valley, Tirado conducted a free bilingual printmaking workshop. Families were invited to respond to a question: Who has been essential in your life during the pandemic? Using a Styrofoam plate as a printing block, participants made a portrait of that person; the exhibition includes their thoughtful creative responses.
Northern-California-based printmakers Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza are printmakers and co-founders of the graphic arts collaboration Dignidad Rebelde (which translates as “Rebellious Dignity”). In their own practices and together as Dignidad Rebelde, Cervantes and Barraza use printmaking as a form of activism and a tool for drawing attention to issues ranging from the rights of Indigenous peoples and other people of color to housing, education, health care and the environment. Drawing on the history of Mexican and Chicano printmaking, their prints feature bold graphics and vivid colors that amplify their messages of support for social justice.
Born in Tacámbaro, Michoacán, Mexico, where he studied printmaking with a master printer, Artemio Rodríguez spent several years in Los Angeles before returning to Mexico. Inspired by the work of famed printmaker José Guadalupe Posada as well as medieval European woodcuts, Rodríguez uses images drawn from folklore, religious iconography and contemporary popular culture in the creation of linocut prints that are often sharply satirical in their view of everything from socio-economic divides to the U.S.-Mexico relationship.
Based in Mexico City, Sergio Sánchez Santamaría works with equal facility in woodcut, linocut, mezzotint and lithography. He trained at Mexico’s National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving, where he studied with artists who were part of the Taller de Gráfica Popular. His prints reflect the influence of his teachers and the legacy of Posada while also incorporating pre-Columbian imagery and contemporary references. Sánchez Santamaría’s work celebrates Mexico’s history and national culture while sometimes offering satirical social commentary in the tradition of the printmakers of the TGP.
In the 1960s, activist Chicano artists forged a remarkable history of printmaking that remains vital today. Many artists came of age during the civil rights, labor, anti-war, feminist, and LGBTQ+ movements and channeled the period’s social activism into assertive aesthetic statements that announced a new political and cultural consciousness among people of Mexican descent in the United States. ¡Printing the Revolution!, organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, explores the rise of Chicano graphics within these early social movements and the ways in which Chicanx artists since then have advanced innovative printmaking practices attuned to social justice.
More than reflecting the need for social change, the works in this exhibition project and revise notions of Chicanx identity, spur political activism and school viewers in new understandings of U.S. and international history. By employing diverse visual and artistic modes from satire, to portraiture, appropriation, conceptualism, and politicized pop, the artists in this exhibition build an enduring and inventive graphic tradition that has yet to be fully integrated into the history of U.S. printmaking.
This exhibition is the first to unite historic civil rights era prints alongside works by contemporary printmakers, including several that embrace expanded graphics that exist beyond the paper substrate. While the dominant mode of printmaking among Chicanx artists remains screen-printing, this exhibition features works in a wide range of techniques and presentation strategies, from installation art, to public interventions, augmented reality, and shareable graphics that circulate in the digital realm. The exhibition also is the first to consider how Chicanx mentors, print centers, and networks nurtured other artists, including several who drew inspiration from the example of Chicanx printmaking.
José Guadalupe Posada’s images captured all aspects of daily life in Mexico City from 1889-1913, directly inspiring artists like Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and over one hundred years later, he continues to impact countless artists creating today’s social movement imagery.
Due to the scope of influence and timeless quality of Posada’s work he has been called prophetic and even the father of Mexican printmaking. In collaboration with Self Help Graphics & Art, over 20 artists’ work will be on display from their collection highlighting the local legacy of Posada. Artists include Fidel Solorzano, Jose Antonio Aguirre, Lalo Alcaraz, KaliArt, Rosalie Lopez*, Shizu Saldamando*, Sonia Romero*, Daniel Gonzalez*, William Acedo*, Wayne Healy*, Germs*, Gronk Nicandro*,Leo Limon*, Linda Vallejo*, Sandy Rodriguez*, Melanie Cervantes*, Diane Gamboa*, Patssi Valdez*, Artemio Rodriguez*,Ofelia Esparza* & Rosanna Esparza Ahrens* & Jaxiejax Art*, and Ester Hernandez. (*Courtesy of SHG)
This captivating exhibit will feature a wide representation of Posada’s work, including his famous Day of the Dead calaveras and the Artist’s original printings plates.
Guest Curated by Consuelo G. Flores.
Artists have been fundamental at interpreting the essence of Chicano and Mexican cultures and identities, and making them more visible. We want contemporary Chicana/no and Mexican artists whose practices have been leaving a mark in the cultural production of their communities to be part of this exhibition, for they have helped to uplift the dreams, desires, and experiences of regular people. Their artworks have helped to portray, reflect, and criticize the ills of society. Sometimes, they move from being witnesses, to active participants of the social movements emerging during their times by using their tools and talent to inspire and empower our communities. Chicano/na and Mexican artists have helped to visualize the ideas and beliefs that in one way or another get ingrained in our culture.
Sol Collective organized this virtual exhibition to complement the artist talks, and panel to highlight the work of contemporary Chicana, Chicano, Chicanx, and Mexican artists whose practices have been leaving a mark in the cultural production of their communities.
Artists have been essential to uplift the dreams, desires, and experiences of our people. They have helped to visualize the ideas and beliefs that get ingrained in our culture. Sometimes, their artworks have helped to portray, reflect, or criticize the ills of society. Other times, they have elevated significant aspects of our cultures. On occasions, they have moved from being witnesses to active participants of the social movements emerging during their times by using their tools and talent to inspire and empower our communities.
Besides highlighting the artists and their work, the project aims to address the importance of telling our own stories, owning our narrative to reflect the Chicana, Chicano, Chicanx, and Mexican experiences.
Exhibiting artists: Adriana Carranza and Alfonso Aceves (Kalli Arte Collective), Gilda Posada, Grabiel Grafica, Jesus Barraza (Dignidad Rebelde), José González, Jose Lott, Lapiztola Colectivo, Luis Campos García,
Luis-Genaro Garcia, Ruby Chacon, Stan Padilla, and Xico González.
View the virtual exhibit at https://www.artsteps.com/embed/61e8c647d408cac9672cb30c/560/315