Art Department Events: Latin@ Printmakers Exhibition: Grabados de Paz y Guerra
The Latin@ Printmakers Exhibition: Grabados de Paz y Guerra, features the work of respected Latina/o printmakers on the topic of war and peace, and is scheduled to take place this spring at Berkeley City College’s Jerry Adams Gallery. Curated by artist and BCC visual arts instructor Juana Alicia Araiza, the show comments on war, violence, immigration, international movements of resistance and peace.
The Jerry Adams Gallery is located on the first floor of the college, and the artwork is visible through plate glass windows that face onto Center Street, in downtown Berkeley. The six-week exhibit will be part of an eighteen-month long project at Berkeley City College, entitled Sorrows of War: Joys of Peace, which will include a lecture series, exhibits, curricular offerings and other important activities and events. The exhibit will take place March 14th through April 30th, with an opening reception on March 18th, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Berkeley City College is located at 2050 Center Street, between Shattuck and Milvia Streets, on half block from the downtown Berkeley BART Station. We are honored to announce that renowned Berkeley Poet Rafael Jesus González will be reading his poetry for the reception.
For more information, please contact Juana Alicia at email@example.com.
ARTISTS IN THE EXHIBIT
Ester Hernandez is a San Francisco artist and graduate of UC Berkeley. She is best known for her depiction of women through pastels and prints, which reflect political, social, ecological and spiritual themes. She has had numerous solo and group shows throughout the U.S. and internationally. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the National Museum of American Art – Smithsonian, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Mexican Museum- San Francisco and Chicago and the Frida Kahlo Studio Museum in Mexico City. For the past 11 years she has been teaching at Creativity Explored of San Francisco, a visual art center for developmentally disabled adults.
In 1997, I produced my first linocut after many years as primarily a poster maker and silkscreen artist. Influenced by the social realist tradition of Latin American printmaking (Jose Guadalupe Posada, Leopoldo Mendez, American Artist Elizabeth Catlett and Rupert Garcia) I have been exploring traditional printmaking, in particular woodcut and linoleum techniques. My focus has continued to be the figure or portrait as a means to tell a story, elaborating on the human condition. The prints that I have produced in the last two years are of people carrying objects or in the process of work. This carrying of things has been a metaphor for the heavy load on one’s shoulders through experiences of living. I have been an artist and cultural activist in the San Francisco, community for over thirty years and a mentor to many young emerging artists. My early poster art is now part of the Chicano Poster Movement. I recently retired and I will be dedicating my energy to creating more art and this year I will launch a new press called “Pajaro Editions” from my home and studio. Pajaro Editions will be part of a larger collective of Chicano/Latino printmakers, called Consejo Grafico, which meets annually. We work to promote and help sustain our Talleres nationally. Our work has included the development of images for AIDS awareness and obesity in the Latino community.
Peaceful Resistance, linocut, Juan Fuentes, 2008, 18″ x 24″
I was born in Mérida, México, “ the heart of the Yucatán Peninsula”, an area known for its slow paced life, its beautiful cathedrals built of stones stolen from Mayan temples, its world champion boxers and its world famous cuisine. Known also for its intense heat and for the ferocity of its mosquitoes. I left Mérida for the first time in 1976, headed for L.A., where I had some relatives, but no friends. The same year I visited San Francisco, where one of my best friends lived and I fell in love with the City. I began drawing political cartoons in Mérida, where the local newspaper hired me as their editorial cartoonist. In 1981 I was selected for an exhibition in Mexico City, where I met my cartoon heroes, Rius, Naranjo, and Helioflores.
Two years later I moved to San Francisco to work at Mission Grafica, a print shop committed to social issues and political art. I showed my cartoons and Graáfica invited me to work with the shop as a screen printer at the Mission Cultural Center. I loved the medium of silk screen and began printing posters that addressed social issues and advocated for social justice, from the I-Hotel to Nicaragua and Palestine. From then on I was interested in all printmaking techniques, enrolling at San Francisco City College and later to San Francisco State University where I produced my first etchings and linocuts. Both my cartoons and prints reflect on the social ills that plague our communities; I see no difference between the problems we face in Mexico and the United States: the roots of the problems are still the same.
Civilización y Barbarie, silk screen, 18” x 24”, 2004.
Varrio Folsom, etching,
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 completed over 100 prints. 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 always been in solidarity with oppressed people of the world. Barraza prides himself on his continued connection to his community and on his availability as an activist artist who can be relied on for help at any time.
Melanie Cervantes is a Xicana activist-artist whose role is to translate the hopes and dreams of justice movements into images that are life-affirming and that inspire people to take action.
Melanie’s work includes black and white illustrations, paintings, installations and paper stencils, but she is best know for her prolific production of political screen prints and posters. Employing vibrant colors and hand-drawn illustrations, her work moves those viewed as marginal to the center — featuring powerful youth, elders, women, and queer and indigenous peoples.
Her most revered mentor is her partner and fellow printmaker Jesus Barraza, with whom she formed Dignidad Rebelde, a collaborative graphic arts project that translates stories of struggle and resistance into artwork that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it.
Melanie has exhibited at Galería de la Raza (San Francisco); Woman Made Gallery and National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago); Mexic-Arte and Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (Austin, TX); and Crewest (Los Angeles). Internationally her art has reached Mexico, Slovenia, Palestine, Venezuela, Switzerland and Guatemala. Her work is in public collections of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, the Latin American Collection of the Green Library at Stanford, and the Hispanic Research Center at the Arizona State University as well as various private collections throughout the U.S.
Emmanuel C. Montoya
Emmanuel Montoya, printmaker, sculptor and muralist was born in South Texas, where he grew up fully aware of his Mexican heritage. It was not until recently that he discovered that his great grandmother was full-blood Apache. With this new information and a new source of inspiration, he began to explore his American Indian heritage by depicting it in his artwork. Montoya served as a professor at San Francisco City College and San Francisco State University. He is extremely active in grassroots-level projects and politics. He has also taught art to disabled children at Creative Growth Art Center, to inmates in the Tracy prison system, and to children at local grade schools and Oakland’s Museum of Children’s Art.
The “Art/War Blood” piece is part of a series about war for the sake of war, as in the military industrial complex.
The “Tule Lake Gambatte” piece is part of a series that celebrates the continuing resistance to the unjust imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The posters were given to Pilgrims on the Berkeley bus to Tule Lake. The fist used is a modification of Frank Cieciorka’s wood block fist.
Thanks to Patricia M. Rodriguez for her mentorship and the San Francisco Print Collective for the political D.I.Y. ethos.
For gigs and solidarity, contact Gabe Martinez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Artemio Rodriguez (b. 1972, Tacambaro, Michoacan, Mexico) is an artist whose work is as current as a graffiti wall, yet grounded in traditions that reach back to the Middle Ages. Primarily a print marker, he has departed at times from paper to apply his imagery on cars and even skateboards.
In form, his work pays tribute to the Mexican master, José Guadalupe Posada. Like Posada’s woodcuts, Rodriguez’s prints are aggressive and provocative. Both artists excel at pushing the simple craft of woodcut printing to its limits. These are not artists that use the print as a secondary form of expression, but rather they use the technique as their primary medium.
After living in Los Angeles for many years, Rodriguez has recently relocated back to Mexico. Now residing in Tacámbaro, Michoacán, he is currently the driving force behind El Huerto, Centro de Ecologia y Artes (The Orchard, Center for Ecology and Arts).
Gráfico Móvil, linocut, 10” x 12”, 2010.