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Current Exhibition: "Empujando Tinta"

Taller Tupac Amaru: 10 Years of Collaborative Activism

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - Thursday, June 20, 2013

EMPUJANDO TINTA:
TEN YEARS OF COLLABORATIVE ACTIVISM

Empujando Tinta is an exhibition of screen prints celebrating the ten-year anniversary of Taller Tupac Amaru (the Taller). The Taller is a collective art studio dedicated to the resurgence of the screen-printing medium as a tool for social change. In 2003, the Oakland based Taller was founded by artists Jesus Barraza, Favianna Rodriguez, Estria Miyashiro and Melanie Cervantes who joined in 2007. Empujando Tinta features work from the Taller’s member artists, as well as work from its collaborations and commissions with other artists including: Laura Amin, Barbara Carrasco, Tony Carranza, Enrique Chagoya, Emory Douglas, Kewana Duncan, Ana Teresa Fernandez, Juan R. Fuentes, Rupert Garcia, Natalia Garcia P., Ester Hernandez, Jesse Hernandez, Celia Herrera Rodriguez, Leslie Lopez, Josh MacPhee, Estria Miyashiro, Emmanuel Montoya, Malaquias Montoya, Julio Cesar Morales, Cerisse Palalagi, Taller Xollotl, Shizu Saldomando, Cory Taum, Jessica Tully, Christine Wong, Tommy Wong, Josh Warren White and Ernesto Yerena.

Inspired by the collective work models of the Mexican Taller de Gráfica Popular, the Cuban based Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America, the Chican@ Art Movement and Bay Area organizations like Mission Gráfica and Self Help Graphics, Barraza and Rodriguez established the Taller to provide a space that both prints political posters to galvanize communities into action, as well as produces fine art prints created by artists of color.

Over the past ten years, the Taller has designed and produced screen prints for social service organizations and with both emerging and established artists, which in turn has fostered intergenerational exchanges of knowledge and practices. Since its inception, the Taller has produced over 17,000 prints that encompass local and international causes such as: globalization, indigenous sovereignty, migration, gentrification, human rights, and LGBT justice. The Taller’s adroit combination of the traditional hands-on screen-printing medium and use of digital technology (making their work available online) has created a revolutionary hybrid model to activate communities. This has underscored the ability of their work to respond to local and global events with immediacy, serving as tools for individual activists and providing a visual language for causes around the world from migrant rights in Arizona to human rights issues in the Middle East. This unique practice enhances the ability and value of the graphic tradition to transcend borders, disseminate information and incite action.

Taller Tupac Amaru’s dedication to the screen-printing medium stems from a deep commitment to sustain the medium’s legacy as an artistic tradition used to give voice to artists of color and to advocate for the rights of disenfranchised people and causes worldwide.

“The art we’re creating is like throwing little stones at a wall, and as we keep going it’s gonna weaken and it’s gonna break. We’re not trying to be the solution, it’s a multi-generational movement that we’re a part of. It’s not that much, but if we are able to pass this on and get a few more kids throwing stones. Eventually it’s all going to tumble down.” [1]- Jesus Barraza

[1] Dunn, Alec Icky, and Josh MacPhee “The Future of Xicana Printmaking: Alec Dunna and Josh MacPhee interview with the Taller Tupac Amaru (Favianna Rodriguez, Melanie Cervantes, and Jesus Barraza)” Signal. 01 (2009): 24-25. Print.
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Galería de la Raza’s programs are made possible by the generous support of:
The San Francisco Arts Commission; Grants For the Arts/Hotel Tax Fund; The California Arts Council, a state agency; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; The James Irvine Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture - NALAC Fund for the Arts/Nescafé Clásico; The San Francisco Foundation, The Zellerbach Family Fund; and Galería members and individual donors.

About the collective: Taller Tupac Amaru was founded in 2003 by Jesus Barraza, Favianna Rodriguez, and Estria Miyashiro, and in 2007 was joined by Melanie Cervantes. Its mission is to produce political posters and art prints in order to revive the medium of screen printing. The Taller started with the aim of building a studio that focused on creating political posters that served as tools for community organizations, as well as fine art prints with emerging and established artists. Throughout the past 10 years, The Taller has collaborated with community organization in the Bay Area and beyond, designing and screen printing posters for campaigns that focus on social justice issues such as globalization, immigration, LGBT justice, and food sustainability.


About the artists: Jesus Barraza is an activist printmaker based in San Leandro, California. Using bold colors and high contrast images, his prints reflect both his local and global community, and their resistance in a struggle to create a new world. 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 a 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 he has printed over 400 editions. Additionally, he is a partner at Tumis Inc., a bilingual design studio helping to integrate art with emerging technologies, and one-half of Dignidad Rebelde.


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. As a teacher, Barraza has conducted printmaking workshops at numerous universities and organizations, and has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, the de Young Museum San Francisco, Parco Museum Tokyo, Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, and El Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folklore in Bolivia. He was a 2005 artist-in-residence with Juan R. Fuentes at San Francisco’s prestigious de Young Museum, and is a recipient of the “Art is a Hammer” award in 2005 from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics and the “Exemplary Leadership Award” from the SFSU College of Ethnic Studies College in 2010.


Favianna Rodriguez is a transnational interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer. Her art and collaborative projects deal with migration, global politics, economic injustice, patriarchy, and interdependence. Rodriguez lectures globally on the power of art, cultural organizing, and technology to inspire social change, and leads art workshops at schools around the country. Rodriguez’s mission is to create profound and lasting social change in the world. Through her bold and provocative art, she has already touched the hearts and minds of millions. In addition to her fine arts and community work, Rodriguez partners with social movement groups around the world to create art that is visionary, inspirational, radical and, most importantly, transformational. When Rodriguez is not making art, she is directing CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, writers and performers in migrant rights. In 2009, she co-founded Presente.org, a national online organizing network dedicated to the political empowerment of Latino communities.


Melanie Cervantes is a Xicana activist-artist whose role is to translate the hopes and dreams of justice movements into images that agitate and inspire. Cervantes’ work includes black and white illustrations, paintings, installations and paper stencils, but she is best known 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. Cervantes has exhibited at Woman Made Gallery and National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago), Mexic-Arte and Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (Austin), Crewest (Los Angeles), and internationally her art has reached Thailand, Slovenia, Palestine, Venezuela, Switzerland, Africa, India, 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.


Cervantes currently works full-time as Program Officer at the Akonadi Foundation, which supports movement building organizations working to finally put an end to the structural racism that lies at the heart of social inequity in the United States. She holds a BA in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and is the other half of Dignidad Rebelde.

Artists

Laura Amin
Jesus Barraza
Tony Carranza
Barbara Carrasco
Melanie Cervantes
Enrique Chagoya
Emory Douglas
Kewana Duncan
Ana Teresa Fernandez
Juan R. Fuentes
Rupert García
Natalia Garcia
Ester Hernandez
Jesse Hernandez
Celia Herrera Rodriguez
Leslie Lopez
Josh MacPhee
Estria Miyashiro
Emmanuel Montoya
Malaquias Montoya
Julio César Morales
Cerissse Palalagi
Favianna Rodriguez
Shizu Saldamando
Cory Taum
Jessica Tully
Josh Warren White
Christine Wong
Tommy Wong
Taller Xolotl
Ernesto Yerena

Photos

As seen from 24th Street, the tools of the trade from Taller Tupac Amaru! Silk screens and paints for the ten year retrospective show, Empujando Tinta! As seen from 24th Street, the tools of the trade from Taller Tupac Amaru! Silk screens and paints for the ten year retrospective show, Empujando Tinta! Main Gallery space, front east wall Main gallery space, east annex wall Main gallery space, west annex Main Gallery Space, south wall Front Desk Main Gallery Space Back hall way outside of screening room, east wall Screening room Screening Room screening room Screening room Main space, west wall Galeria's back hall way, west wall Malaquias Montoya's title silk screen poster located at the front of the Galeria Galeria's front door entrance, recently remodeled and ready for our new exhibit! Limited edition Malaquias Montoya silk screens posters that were handed out to the first 50 viewers on opening night of Empujando Tinta! Galeria's backroom Galeria's back room, freshly painted and with new furniture! Flyers and exhibition binders for Taller Tupac Amaru's 10 year retrospective: Empujando Tinta! Justice for Edmund “Bubba” Gutierrez, 2010
“This collaboration with Ernesto grew out of a tragedy in his home town of El Centro, California. His brother’s friend was stopped by police, handcuffed and beaten to death. The poster was designed for a campaign to inform the community about the incident, demand the truth and make sure the police involved are brought to justice. The screen printed edition was used as a fundraiser to help Bubba’s family pay for his burial costs.”
-Jesus Barraza Malcolm X Jazz Festival, 2010
“For the 10th Anniversary of EastSide Arts Alliance’s (ESAA) Malcolm X Jazz Festival, The Taller was asked to print a poster that would be sold at the Jazz Festival as a fundraiser for ESAA. The Jazz Festival is a yearly concert organized by ESAA to bring music and culture to the diverse community in East Oakland.”
-Jesus Barraza
Haiti Will Rise, 2009
“This print was published by Dignidad Rebelde (the graphic arts collaboration between Barraza and Cervantes) and printed at The Taller. The poster was designed by EastSide Arts Alliance (ESAA) to share with the community and was featured on their website for people to download and print to show their solidarity with the people of Haiti. The print was used as a fundraiser in collaboration with ESAA to raise funds for the people of Haiti, through sales about $3,500 were sent to a community organization that works directly with community.”
-Jesus Barraza Stop the Evictions, 2004
“Working with Christine was really great; I [Barraza] loved the design and colors and the characters she came up with for this project. The poster was designed for Just Cause, a grassroots organization whose work focuses on building solidarity between working class communities and improving conditions in San Francisco Bay Aare neighborhoods.  This print was used as part of Just Cause’s campaign to stop the eviction of 50 families from the Pacific Plaza Renaissance in Oakland’s Chinatown.”
-Jesus Barraza Untitled, 2011
“This image represents the figure of a Human being, male or female and shows the Hawaiian's understanding of the three piko (body points).  The two crescent moon shapes are called Hoaka and the top hoaka represent the soft spot of an infant's skull. This hoaka is like an open bowl, connecting us to the past and our ancestors in the spiritual realm. The middle piko looks like the pattern seen when a stone is dropped into water and represents the present.  The navel is the remnant of the connection to our mother through the umbilical chord. The last piko (the upside down hoaka) is the future and represents ones genitals, which are the connection to our descendants that we will bear. Outside is a pattern expressing the duality of all things in life.” 
-Jesus Barraza Untitled, 2010 Lydia!, 2009
“In 2009, Emmanuel Montoya approached us to work with him on a re-production of his woodcut portrait of Lydia Mendoza, a legendary American guitarist and singer of Tejano, conjunto and traditional Mexican-American music. It was great to work with a master artist that is so consistently dedicated to producing such high quality work.”
-Jesus Barraza Immigrants Dream: American Response, 2004
“Malaquias’ contribution to the Center for the Study of Political Graphics 15th anniversary portfolio was a reproduction of a poster he made in 1981 for an immigrant rights organization in the Bay Area. For The Taller, it was the first time we collaborated with an established artist, one whose work has been a big inspiration to us. The image continues to be relevant today when I.C.E. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is terrorizing undocumented migrants with home and workplace raids, ripping them from their families and lives.” 
-Jesus Barraza Hip Hop is Love, 2010
“This is a piece we printed for Leslie "DIME" Lopez as part of a collaboration between the Xochitl Ceive collective and Dignidad Rebelde, which produced a series of screen prints together.”  
-Jesus Barraza Perez Prado, 2010
“This is part of a portfolio that The Taller printed for the Galeria de la Raza's 40th Year Anniversary. The music of Perez Prado is classic and will continue being the King of the Mambo for generations.”
-Jesus Barraza Wanted, 2010
“In the summer of 2010, we had the opportunity to work with Ester Hernandez and print her Virgen de Guadalupe Wanted print.  She was inspired to create the piece to support the fight against Arizona's SB 1070 law. Ester is one of the most talented Chican@ print makers and designers. This print is sharp and witty and makes a connection with the spirituality that la Raza looks to for protection in their daily lives.”
-Jesus Barraza Jaguar Knight, 2008
“This print with Jesse Hernandez is the first print that Dignidad Rebelde (the graphic arts collaboration between Barraza and Cervantes) published through The Taller. The image is of the "Jaguar Knight", one of Hernandez's characters that was made into a Dunny (a small toy) by Kid Robot. We printed these for a 2008 exhibit at Munky King in Los Angeles where Hernandez showcased his paintings and vinyl toys.”
-Jesus Barraza Xochitl Cieve, 2010 
“This is a piece we printed for Natalia Garcia P. as part of a collaboration between Xochitl Ceive and Dignidad Rebelde which produced a series of screen prints together. Xochitl Ceive is an artist collective whose mission is to create offerings to honor the revolutionary legacy of their ancestors.  In the Galego and Nahuatl languages, Xochitl Ceive translates to the word ‘flower’ and has become a symbol of self determination.”
-Jesus Barraza ¡Cesen Deportación!, 2011
“In July of 2011, we teamed up with Rupert Garcia to publish a print for the Ethnic Studies College at San Francisco State University. We were really happy to have Rupert Garcia pick the 1973 ¡Cesen Deportación! (Stop Deportation) print to reproduce for this project. Thirty-eight years later and the statement is extremely relevant; in the past year, the Obama administration has a deported a record 2 million people. Through his reprinting of ¡Cesen Deportación!, Garcia reiterates his defiant stance against unjust treatment of immigrant peoples.” 
-Jesus Barraza Made in the U.S.A., 2010
“The Taller recently worked with Juan on a screen printed reproduction of one of his linoleum prints for the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG). It is part of a portfolio celebrating the CSPG’s 20th anniversary, and that year Juan was also honored with the Art is a Hammer award. The linoleum print was first published in 2001 and is one of many responses to the unjust wars that the United Stats has been waging in the Middle East.”
-Jesus Barraza We Are Not the Enemy, 2005
“I developed this poster in collaboration with INCITE, Women of Color Against Violence in opposition to the United States' call for war after 9-11. It was developed as one of two anti-war posters that were reproduced by the thousands and distributed to major national cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles & Minneapolis. The poster became a national icon against the war and was well received by women-of-color and anti-war groups across the country. The woman depicted in the poster is Meena, the charismatic leader of RAWA, an organization that gave voice to the silenced women of Afghanistan.” 
–Favianna Rodriguez
Jazzamatazz, 2007
“This was the first poster of a series of hip hop concert posters that were printed at The Taller. This design for the musician Guru, who started the Jazzamatazz project, focuses on the fusion of hip hop and Jazz. Estria and Tony Carranza from Tumis teamed up for this concert poster series and produced 8 posters in collaboration with Ankh Marketing.”
-Jesus Barraza All Power to the People, 2004
“This was an amazing collaboration with Emory Douglas, reproducing one of his works from his time as the Minister of Culture of the Black Panther Party. Douglas created some of the most iconic images of the Black Panther movement and his images were highly circulated through the party’s newspaper. Favianna Rodriguez worked on the film separations for this image by recreating it from an older image. The image was printed and then taken to Emory to sign.”
-Jesus Barraza Free the SF 8, 2007
“This limited edition silkscreened poster was made to raise funds for the San Francisco 8 and the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights.  The San Francisco 8 are eight former Black Panther members arrested in 2007 for the 1971 murder of police Sargeant John V. Young. The charges were controversial due to the forcing of confessions from three of the defendants with the use of torture.”
-Jesus Barraza Untitled, 2010
“Working with Enrique is an honor, collaborating with him on this second screen print we got to see how he recontextualizes images and puts a contemporary spins on them. This print by Enrique Chagoya is part of a series of drawings and screen prints that pay homage to Jose Clemente Orozco.”
-Jesus Barraza ENRIQUE CHAGOYA
Untitled I, 2012
“This print was published by Dignidad Rebelde (the graphic arts collaboration between Barraza and Cervantes), in the Spring of 2012 and is our second collaboration with the artist. This is part of a series of drawings and prints by Chagoya that pay homage to the great Mexican artist Jose Clemente Orozco, and draws from one of his lithographs and adds a modern sensibility.”
-Jesus Barraza Tierra y Libertad, 2013
“Tierra y Libertad is a reflection of the new generation of farmers working land within autonomous communities of the Zapatistas. ‘Tierra y Libertad’ is a slogan that was popularized during the turn of the century by Mexican Revolutionaries like Emiliano Zapata who were fighting to give the land back to the indigenous population from whom it was expropriated. The white hat is also a subtle nod to Nicaraguan revolutionary Augusto Sandino. There is also a repeating gold pattern of maize in the background, which symbolizes how corn is central to the dietary, social and spiritual life of indigenous people in Mexico.”
-Jesus Barraza Mis Mamas, 2010
“Lesbian, Gay, and Queer families are impacted not only by racially discriminatory immigration laws but also by heterosexist reunification laws that keep bi-national partners and their children from being together. This portrait honors how a family’s love knows no borders.”
-Jesus Barraza Rise Up, 2011
“My print portrays a Kaitiaki or a protective guardian.  The Kaitiaki is a reminder to never forget your roots and where you come from. The Kaitiaki also wears a fitted cap, which represents our connection to all things of the spiritual and physical world. The female figure on the cap is called Hawaiiki; she embodies the essence of Tino Rangatiratanga -Self Determination.”- Cee Palalagi
“Dignidad Rebelde (the graphic arts collaboration between Barraza and Cervantes) published this portfolio of limited edition prints at The Taller. The prints are based on drawings used in Cherrie Morraga's latest book, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness. The set includes all nine images from the book and comes printed on various types of colored paper and ink combinations that were selected by Celia during a proofing process at our studio.”
-Jesus Barraza “Dignidad Rebelde (the graphic arts collaboration between Barraza and Cervantes) published this portfolio of limited edition prints at The Taller. The prints are based on drawings used in Cherrie Morraga's latest book, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness. The set includes all nine images from the book and comes printed on various types of colored paper and ink combinations that were selected by Celia during a proofing process at our studio.”
-Jesus Barraza “Dignidad Rebelde (the graphic arts collaboration between Barraza and Cervantes) published this portfolio of limited edition prints at The Taller. The prints are based on drawings used in Cherrie Morraga's latest book, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness. The set includes all nine images from the book and comes printed on various types of colored paper and ink combinations that were selected by Celia during a proofing process at our studio.”
-Jesus Barraza “Dignidad Rebelde (the graphic arts collaboration between Barraza and Cervantes) published this portfolio of limited edition prints at The Taller. The prints are based on drawings used in Cherrie Morraga's latest book, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness. The set includes all nine images from the book and comes printed on various types of colored paper and ink combinations that were selected by Celia during a proofing process at our studio.”
-Jesus Barraza “Dignidad Rebelde (the graphic arts collaboration between Barraza and Cervantes) published this portfolio of limited edition prints at The Taller. The prints are based on drawings used in Cherrie Morraga's latest book, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness. The set includes all nine images from the book and comes printed on various types of colored paper and ink combinations that were selected by Celia during a proofing process at our studio.”
-Jesus Barraza “Dignidad Rebelde (the graphic arts collaboration between Barraza and Cervantes) published this portfolio of limited edition prints at The Taller. The prints are based on drawings used in Cherrie Morraga's latest book, A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness. The set includes all nine images from the book and comes printed on various types of colored paper and ink combinations that were selected by Celia during a proofing process at our studio.”
-Jesus Barraza Artista Por La Paz, 2004
“Barbara’s selection was a piece she created especially for the Center for the Study of Political Graphics 15th anniversary portfolio and highlights the role artists play in the movement for social justice and peace. It was an honor to work with Barbara, an artist who for decades has worked constantly with social justice organizations.  This is the same tradition we continue with the posters that come out of our Taller.”
-Jesus Barraza Dead Prez, 2007
“This poster was for a 2007 Dead Prez concert in San Francisco, which was held to raise funds for the SF 8. Dead Prez wanted to have a poster that reflected the politics they represent in their music.” 
-Jesus Barraza Venezuela: Un Paso Adelante Para el Pueblo Latino Americano, 2004
“This collaboration was The Taller’s contribution to the Center for the Study of Political Graphics 15th anniversary portfolio and was conceived to highlight the changes that were happening at the time in Venezuela and their influence on surrounding countries in South America. We chose to celebrate this revolution because it challenges foreign interests who seek to exploit the global South by taking its resources, leaving the people to live in a society where people come after profits.”
-Jesus Barraza Celebrando Diez Años de la Lucha Zapatista, 2003
“This was the first print that was produced at the Taller when we moved into our first space. The print celebrates the Zapatista Movement’s tenth anniversary in 2004.  It honors Emiliano Zapata, the man who served as an example of the struggle for autonomy and taking back the land.” 
-Jesus Barraza Angela, 2008
“This print was created to honor Angela Davis who was a active member of the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party, USA. She was best known for her participation in a failed attempt to free the Soledad Brothers, which she was later put on the FBI's most wanted list for. After her trial and release Davis went on to continue being a university professor as well as work as a prison abolitionist to change and end the Prison Industrial Complex.”
-Jesus Barraza Untitled, 2010
“This print of Ana’s was taken from a series of pencil sketches documenting her performances at the San Diego/Tijuana Border Field State park. It was quite a process to reproduce pencil shading in a screen print format, but after several proofs were created we finally got what we were looking for in the print version.” 
-Jesus Barraza Philip Vera Cruz, 2004
“This poster was created for an EastSide Arts Alliance event to celebrate the legacy of Philip Vera Cruz, a Filipino farm worker and one of the founders of the United Farm Workers. The poster was adapted from the postcard for the event also designed by Laura and was used as a fundraiser for the EastSide Arts Alliance.”
-Jesus Barraza
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