Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection
February 7 – May 23, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 7, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Admission and events are free and open to the public. Guided tours can be arranged by appointment.
Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection is a traveling exhibition surveying an extensive collection of Chicana/o prints that will come to Los Angeles and be on view at the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College click here. This impressive collection of serigraphs and lithographs is owned by McNay Museum in San Antonio, TX, and was donated to the McNay by Texas-based art collectors Drs. Ricardo and Harriet Romo. Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection opens on February 7, and continues
through May 23, 2015. The opening reception will take place on Saturday, February 7, 4:00-6:00 p.m., and is free to all. VPAM presents Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection, a survey of printmaking, including more than sixty works from 1984 to 2011 by forty-four artists, chronicling Latina/o and Chicana/o experience in the United States. Printmaking transformed across the boundaries of the contemporary art world and into the realm of social change and activism during the Chicano Movement of the 1970s, when prints became a recognizable political gesture. Exploring Chicano/Latino printmaking from the 1960s to the 2000s, the survey examines the intersections of culture through the lenses of “identity,” “struggle,” “tradition, culture, and memory,” “icons,” and “other voices.” Together, the Estampas collection functions as a composite representation of the complex narrative of the community’s political and creative movement for social, economic, and political equity. Artists represented in the survey include Sam Coronado, Richard Duardo, Gronk, Ester Hernández, Luis Jiménez, César Martínez, Alex Rubio, Patssi Valdez, and Vincent Valdez, among others whose work has been featured recently at VPAM like Sonia Romero and Jaime “Germs” Zacarias. A proverbial “visual feast,” the exhibition stimulates a critical awareness of a particular history and culture through the collection of work featuring a range of icons and voices. The collectors’ deep appreciation for the print medium positions each piece within the context of its history, while broadening and adding to the historical narrative of the culture. Chicana/o printmaking recontextualized the print medium and blended the influences of American pop art from the late 50s and early 60s with traditional Mexican culture. During the early 1970s, the accessibility to art and culture was revolutionized in the Chicana/o community through the manifestation of different local creative hubs. It was the simplicity of production through the use of minimal and inexpensive materials that motivated some of the community’s early printmaking endeavors. Organizations
such as East Los Angeles’s influential community-based printmaking atelier, Self Help Graphics & Art, as well as Richard Duardo’s Los Angeles print shop, Modern Multiples, provided a space for art to function as a mechanism for community building. Collectors began to acquire Chicana/o prints in the 1980s, when posters became more aestheticized and in dialogue with mainstream contemporary art movements.
The exhibition is a celebration of the recent gift given to the McNay Museum in San Antonio by Drs. Harriett and Ricardo Romo. Spanning more than four decades of art collecting, the Romos are among the most important collectors of Chicano art in the United States. As long-time educators, the Romos aim to share these works with others, especially students, in hope of providing viewers with a relational narrative and a personal feeling of
empowerment. “They have amassed one of the largest selections of Chicana/o art not because they were wealthy with disposable income, but because they saw its importance from the very beginning. They felt that art reflected their lives, that it was empowering; for this reason, they made it their commitment to share this work with others,” explains Carlos Francisco Jackson, Assistant Professor, Department of Chicano/a Studies, UC Davis in the prologue of the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition.
Former Angelenos and UCLA alumni, the Romos have made great contributions to the field of Chicano Studies; they have both integrated arts education into their academic disciplines, history and sociology, respectively. Dr. Ricardo Romo currently holds the position of president at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Romo authored the 1983 publication, East Los Angeles: History of a Barrio after receiving his PhD in history from UCLA (1975). Dr. Harriet Romo is Professor of Sociology at University of Texas, San Antonio.
A beautifully illustrated exhibition catalogue featuring a prologue by Carlos Francisco Jackson, an introduction by
Harriett and Ricardo Romo, and essay by curator Lyle Williams, will be available for purchase at the Vincent Price
Saturday, February 7, 2 to 4 p.m. Join Chicano/a art collectors Drs. Harriet and Ricardo Romo for a conversation
with several of the artists from Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection.
Vincent Price Art Museum | East Los Angeles College
Hours: Tue. Wed. Fri. Sat. 12:00 – 4:00 p.m., Thu. 12:00 – 7:00 p.m.
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