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Chicano/a/x Printmaking: Making Prints and Making History – 50 Years of Art Activism

Chicano/a/x Printmaking: Making Prints and Making History – 50 Years of Art Activism is a multi-site exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the SDSU Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. Born in 1969 out of community struggle and a spirit of revolution that is ongoing, the Department’s activist stance is reflected in the exhibition. Featuring important historical and contemporary examples of printed works on paper, the exhibition highlights printmaking as one of the oldest, most enduring, and widely used processes for Chicano/a/x artists working from the 1940s to today.

Chicano/a/x Printmaking presents a robust selection of linoleum cuts, monoprints, screenprints, and woodblock prints that manifest community concerns and dreams, pride and cultural affirmation, and the use of art as an agent for change. Produced by individual artists and collectives, the artworks provoke discussion on relevant and urgent issues. For example, topics addressed in the exhibition include mass migration, border walls, family separation, extreme poverty, generalized violence, racism and hate, climate change and environmental deterioration, political polarization, and other critical challenges of contemporary society.

Chinano/a/x Printmaking is drawn largely from the Gilberto Cárdenas and Dolores García Collection of Latino Art. With a distinctive focus on Chicano printmaking, the Collection includes individual works as well as complete portfolios by Chicano artists in its holdings of more than 10,000 objects. Artists and groups in the exhibition include Yreina Cervantes, Rupert Garcia, Diane Gamboa, Ester Hernández, Malaquías Montoya, Victor Ochoa, Self-Help Graphics, and Salvador Roberto Torres, among others.

Chicano/a/x Printmaking: Making Prints and Making History – 50 Years of Art Activism is organized by the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies in collaboration with the SDSU Downtown Gallery. The exhibition and events are sponsored by Ruben Islas, Nadia Gastelum, Adrienne and Juan Vargas, Gilberto Cárdenas, Southwest Airlines, ArtStartArt, the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, the College of Arts & Letters, the School of Art + Design, the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, and Arts Alive SDSU.

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