Imagining California Talk: Aesthetic Mobility and Solidarities at Self Help Graphics & Art

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Karen Mary Davalos and Tatiana Reinoza

February 23, 2024 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


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Self Help Graphics & Art is a legacy arts organization that served on the cultural front of the Chicano Movement. Its emphasis on printmaking as an accessible medium infused with activist aims and its ability to cultivate and navigate various solidarities helped to support over fifty years of growth. This presentation by the co-editors of Self Help Graphics at Fifty looks at the multiple aesthetic styles and collaborative innovations that produced intergenerational, transnational, and cross-racial connections during the organization’s first five decades. Audience Q&A will follow.

Karen Mary Davalos, Professor of Chicano and Latino Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, has written two books on Chicana/o/x museums, Exhibiting Mestizaje: Mexican (American) Museums in the Diaspora (2001) and The Mexican Museum of San Francisco Papers, 1971-2006 (2010), the Silver Prize winner of the International Latino Book Award for Best Reference Book in English. Her research and teaching interests in Chicana feminist scholarship, spirituality, and art inform her award-winning book Yolanda M. López (2008). She conducted life history interviews with eighteen artists, a decade of ethnographic research in Southern California, and archival research on fifty years of Chican@/x art in Los Angeles to produce her book Chicana/o Remix: Art and Errata since the Sixties (2017). With Dr. Constance Cortez (UTRGV), she launched “Rhizomes: Mexican American Art since 1848,” a multi-component digital ecosystem that resolves the misunderstandings and invisibility of visual art by Mexican Americans. Since 2012, she has served on the board of directors of Self Help Graphics & Art.

Tatiana Reinoza is Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Notre Dame. She specializes in the history of printmaking within the field of Latinx art. Her writing has appeared in the Archives of American Art Journal, Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, as well as edited volumes and exhibition catalogues such as ¡Printing the Revolution! The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now. She has also curated exhibitions including the 2022 exhibition All My Ancestors: The Spiritual in Afro-Latinx Art, which took place at the Brandywine’s Printed Image Gallery. In 2023, she published her first book, Reclaiming the Americas:  Latinx Art and the Politics of Territory and, with Davalos, the co-edited volume Self Help Graphics at Fifty. She is currently at work on a new book project titled “Retorno: Art & Kinship in the Making of a Central American Diaspora.”

Sponsored by the IHC’s Imagining California series, the IHC Idee Levitan Endowment, and the UCSB Library

Related Exhibition: Cultura Cura: 50 Years of Self Help Graphics in East LA is on view at the Special Research Collections of the UCSB Library from 10/25/2023 to 6/21/2024. Exhibition materials are drawn from the Library’s California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives, which includes an extensive collection of Self Help Graphics studio silk screen prints as well as organizational records, photographs, and ephemera.


February 23, 2024
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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(805) 893-3907
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