Amalia Mesa-Bains is an artist, scholar, curator, and writer who has been involved in the Chicano artist movement since the 1960s.
Dr. Mesa-Bains is a leading altar installation artist, incorporating Chicano culture and folk traditions into her work. She was the curator for the traveling exhibition, Ceremony of Memory, and the regional committee chair (Northern California) for the exhibition Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1965-1985 (CARA).
She also has written extensively on Chicano art and culture. Among her many awards is a 1992 Distinguished Mac Arthur Fellowship. She has served as a consultant for the Texas State Council on the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and is a former Commissioner of Arts for the City of San Francisco.
She holds a BA in painting from San Jose State University, an MA in interdisciplinary education from San Francisco State University, and an MA and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the School of Clinical Psychology, Wright Institute in Berkeley.
In the mid-1990s, Amalia Mesa-Bains was a member of Galería de la Raza's Board. She first conceptualized Galería's (Re)Generation Project for emerging artists, as a means to train young Latina/o artists for careers in the arts and to share the experiences of 'Movimiento' artists in an informal mentorship situation. In the process, the (Re)Generation Program has become an essential forum and vital venue for on-going interaction and dialogue between generations.
Dr. Mesa-Bains is also the author of Ceremony of Spirit: Nature and Memory in Contemporary Latino Art. (San Francisco: The Mexican Museum, 1993.)