Galería de la Raza Information Programs Exhibits Shop Studio 24 Press Room
An interdisciplinary Chicano/Latino Space for Art, Thought, & Activism


Galeria de la Raza presents


Opening Reception:
FRI, JUNE 19 @ 7:30 pm

Exhibition Dates:

Special Events: (Free)
Screen Printing workshop, Sat., June 27th, 2-4pm
Stenciling workshop, Sat., July 25th, 2-4pm
Artist in Conversation with artist/activist Juan Fuentes – Wed., August 5th @ 7pm

A gallery-as-studio and workshop series featuring the work of the Bay Area artist/activist collective, Dignidad Rebelde. The exhibition is part of "Contrabando" [Smuggled Goods], an exhibition series that potentially fits in a suitcase, and that through a collaborative effort, invites individual artists or artist collectives to take over the gallery and create a vibrant, live exhibition/open studio and public meeting place.

lft: Las Brown Berets, Melanie Cervantes, 2009 | rt: Che, Jesus Barraza, 2009

Galería de la Raza is excited to announce the launching of our Contrabando (Smuggled Goods) Exhibition Series. Celebration of the resourcefulness and creativity that becomes enlivened in times of economic instability, we will host three exhibitions over the course of the next year that can potentially fit in a suitcase. The invited artists will intervene our gallery space in inventive and unexpected ways, transforming our walls and creating a vibrant studio space and meeting ground.

Dignidad Rebelde is the first of these three exhibitions, developed by Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes. Having worked together for many years, the artist/activist duo developed the Oakland based organization, Dignidad Rebelde, for collaboration and skill sharing fueled by a desire to support grassroots organizing for social justice. Their mission of producing and distributing screen-printed political posters to foster a resurgence in the medium for social change will be visually articulated onto our walls through their stimulating and bold use of posters and paint.

Throughout the exhibition, both Jesus and Melanie will be present at the Gallery cutting stencils, burning screens, sketching out ideas and printing posters. Individuals are invited to partake in the creative process and join in the spirit of collaborative art production. Galeria will also host two workshops, one silkscreen based and the other stencil based to spread an awareness of grass roots political printmaking and guerrilla art. Additionally, we will host an artist talk with local artist and activist, Juan Fuentes who has been working in the San Francisco community for over thirty years and has been an inspirational mentor to many young emerging artists.

Jesus Barraza is an activist, printmaker and digital artist based in the 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’s work continues the tradition of graphic art in the spirit of Jose Gaudalupe Posada, OSSPAL and Juan R. Fuentes. 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 he has complete over 100 prints. Additionally he is a partner at Tumis Inc., a bilingual design studio helping to integrate art with emerging technologies.

Melanie Cervantes creates a powerful visual language to declare that a peaceful, sustainable and just world is possible. She is an artist trained by library books, family, peers and experimentation. Producing her work in various mediums including pen and ink, acrylic, screenprinting, embroidery, fiber arts, and spray-painted stencils Melanie infuses her indigenous internationalist worldview, spirituality and politic into all her art. She views her art practice as an important component of a growing social movement for global social justice. Following the tradition of such artists as Juana Alicia, Malaquias Montoya, Judy Baca, Emory Douglas, La Mujeres Muralistas and Diego Rivera- Melanie has made a life long commitment to being an artist for the people.