Celebrate Hispanic/LatinxHeritage month with with a visit to Museo Eduardo Carrillo’s Califas Legacy Project on Google Arts & Culture.
Get to know the work of Amalia Mesa-Bains, Ralph D’Oliveira, Carmen Leon, and Yermo Aranda. You will also discover Califas: The Ancestral Journey/ El Viaje Ancestral, a moveable mural book produced by Felicia Rice, Moving Parts Press, in collaboration with Museo Eduardo Carrillo.
The Califas Legacy Project online exhibition, offered by the Santa Cruz Art League (SCAL) and Museo Eduardo Carrillo, tells an untold story of Chicano/a/x artists living in the Central California Coastal region. This exhibition includes artworks by Guillermo (Yermo) Aranda, Ralph D’Oliveira, Carmen León, and Amalia Mesa-Bains. We expand the geographic art historical narratives about Latino artists in the United States that are primarily centered in large, urban environments such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.
The Califas Legacy Project has unified the Monterey Bay Crescent through public retrospective and multi-generational exhibitions, zoomed in opportunities, streetside art viewing, portable murals, documentary videos, panel discussions, and a Latinx-based symposium. In 1982, Professor Eduardo Carrillo conceived of the “Califas: Chicano Art and Culture in California” conference to bring together artists, scholars, and creative social instigators to take stock of La Raza y El Movimiendo after several decades of political awakening and action. Together with Philip Brookman, Tomas Ybarra Frausto, and Juventino Esparza, he assembled a remarkable group for a multi-day symposium. They argued and agreed that the Chicano movement in all its variety and manifestations was very much alive and needed continued nurturance.
Now, almost forty years later, the Califas Legacy Project features the art and ideas of our region’s Chicano/a/x and Latinx creative leaders, the elders in the movement.
Our commitment is to secure the preservation of these artists’ legacies and awaken a new generation to the richness of the Monterey Bay Crescent artists contributions. Theirs is an un-contained influence – linking the powerful social movements of the 1960s to the next generation of Latinx and other artists. The exhibition surveys work from over four decades per artist, thereby sharing their artistic evolution and making visible what has been here all along.
The Califas Legacy Project fills a vacant part of American art history.
Guillermo (Yermo) Aranda is an elder and wisdom keeper of the history and ancestral teachings for Chicano/Native/Mexica identified peoples. He was the co-founder of El Centro Cultural de La Raza, a cultural art center focusing on Latino and Indigenous Art forms. As the Centro’s first Administrative Director, Aranda initiated the Chicano Park Murals in San Diego in 1973. Chicano Park is now recognized by the City of San Diego and the State of California as an historical site.
Ralph D’Oliveira has painted more than 100 murals in California and abroad during his 40+ year career as a muralist. He has done dozens of projects with schools and school children. In 2013, he traveled to Norway to do a mural project in Trondheim. He coordinates his projects collaboratively with neighbors and students in schools. He views all these projects as a way to build community. Ralph draws on his multicultural background incorporating native Chumash and Mexican roots.
Carmen León is a painter and teacher of art. In 1975-76, she was involved with a grassroots arts center, the Academia del Arte Chicano de Azlan, painting some of the first murals in Watsonville. In 1985, she began teaching art in the schools, focusing her involvement with the Latino community and drawing on her Peruvian and Mexican heritage. León was one of the co-founders of Galeria Tonantzin in San Juan Bautista, CA, a venue for women’s art.
Amalia Mesa-Bains is a curator, author, visual artist, and educator. In her home altars, ofrendas, and writing, she examines the formation of Chicana identity and aesthetic practices, the shared experiences of historically-marginalized communities in the United States, especially among women of color, and the role of multiculturalism within museums and cultural institutions. Her work is in collections worldwide and in 1992 she was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship.
Zoom Reception: February 3, 2020 @ 4:00-5:00pm | Register Here
The reception will feature a tour of the virtual exhibition hub, website, and a panel discussion with Amalia Mesa-Bains, Philip Brookman, and others.
The Califas Legacy Project has unified the Monterey Bay Crescent through public retrospective and multi-generational exhibitions, zoomed in opportunities, streetside art viewing, portable murals, documentary videos, panel discussions, and a Latinx-based symposium.
The Califas Legacy Project grew out of the recognition that our region represents an opportunity to fill in a missing piece of American art history. The story of Chicano/a art on the Central Coast is decades long, rich and varied.
In 1982, Professor Eduardo Carrillo conceived of the “Califas: Chicano Art and Culture in California” conference to bring together artists, scholars, and creative social instigators to take stock of La Raza y El Movimiendo after several decades of political awakening and action. Together with Philip Brookman, Tomas Ybarra Frausto, and Juventino Esparza, he assembled a remarkable group for a multi-day symposium. They argued and agreed that the Chicano movement in all its variety and manifestations was very much alive and needed continued nurturance.
Now, almost forty years later, the Califas Legacy Project features the art and ideas of our region’s Chicano/a/x and Latinx creative leaders, our elders in the movement and the next generation artists across the Monterey Bay Crescent.
The nine organizations participating in the Califas Legacy Project
Museo Eduardo Carrillo
Monterey Museum of Art
Moving Parts Press
Santa Cruz Art League
Santa Cruz Public Libraries
Watsonville Public Library
UCSC Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery
UCSC Institute of Arts and Sciences
UCSC Library Special Collections & Archives SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Museo Eduardo Carrillo TITLE: The Califas Legacy Project (online retrospective of Califas Legacy artists with video vignettes and the book, Califas The Ancestral Journey/ El Viaje Ancestral)
DATES: March 5, 2021 ongoing
ADDRESS: museoeduardocarrillo.org and Google Arts & Culture
CONTACT: Betsy Andersen email@example.com
Monterey Museum of Art TITLE: The Califas Legacy Project: The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral
Virtual exhibit of CALIFAS artists, partners, and the book, along with other Moving Parts Press books)
DATES: January 8 – April 11, 2021
ADDRESS: 559 Pacific St, Monterey, CA 93949
CONTACT: Allyson Hitte firstname.lastname@example.org Programming TBA
Santa Cruz Public Libraries TITLE: Califas: The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral
(Series of banners displayed in street facing windows with the book displayed inside)
DATES: January 8, 2021 ongoing
ADDRESS: 224 Church St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Contact: Diane Cowen email@example.com and Susan Nilsson firstname.lastname@example.org Programming TBA
Watsonville Public Library TITLE: Califas: The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral
(Series of banners displayed in outward facing windows in the City Hall rotunda with the book displayed inside)
DATES: January 8, 2021 ongoing
ADDRESS: 275 Main St, Watsonville, CA 95076
CONTACT: Alicia Martinez email@example.com Programming TBA
Brief description of the event: In June 2020, book artist Felicia Rice completed her most recent piece, The Necropolitics of Extraction. Two months later the book, along with Rice’s studio, was destroyed by the wildfires that ravaged the Santa Cruz Mountains. The only extant copies of the work are those that had already found homes in various institutions across the country. Despite this massive loss Rice’s work continues as Moving Parts Press works to rise through the ashes. Rice’s work has always hinged on collaboration and community in order to explore and comment on some of the most tangled issues of our time, from questions surrounding identity to the sustainability of our planet. This event invites a number of her closest collaborators, including UCSC Arts Faculty, T.J. Demos and Jennifer González to join Rice in conversation about her work, the process of collaboration and the impact of the medium of artists’ books.
We thank the generous sponsors of the Califas Legacy Project
The Califas Legacy Project is a multi-year, multi-medium, collaborative endeavor launched by Museo Eduardo Carrillo to document the legacy of five Central Coast Chicano/a cultural treasures: Guillermo (Yermo) Aranda, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Eduardo Carrillo, Ralph D’Oliveira, and Carmen León. Nine organizations are contributing to a series of events and exhibitions taking place between January and April 2021 (full schedule here).
The development of Califas The Ancestral Journey/ El Viaje Ancestral accordion book, December 2019.
Califas: The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral A collaboration with Moving Parts Press
In recognition of this need to focus on the Latinx artists of the Central Coast Califas: The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral is being produced jointly by Museo and Moving Parts Press as an integral part of the Califas Legacy Project. In order to capture the public mural and installation forms in which these artists work, the artists created a one-of-a-kind collaborative “mural,” hand painted in an accordion-fold book with an assemblage shadow box on the cover. The book was designed and letterpress printed by Felicia Rice of Moving Parts Press and co-published with Museo Eduardo Carrillo. A commercially printed trade edition of the book is being given to libraries, schools, and other youth-serving organizations in the Central Coast region. Learn more about the book on the Moving Parts press website here.
The Monterey Museum of Art has the book on display in their virtual exhibit devoted to the work of Chicanx and Latinx artists of the Monterey Bay Crescent here.
The MMA is also showing more books and broadsides from the Moving Parts Press Chicanx/Latinx Series in their virtual exhibit here.
The Santa Cruz and Watsonville public libraries have developed a suite of banners to launch of the book this winter. Find all of these events here.
We recognize the need to bring visibility to the vacant places in our culture’s art history through sharing the work of our region’s leading Chicano/a/x artists. Books need to be in people’s hands and the art needs to be part of people’s social consciousness.
Califas Legacy Project Documentary
Integral to the Califas Legacy Project is a documentary film by Wallace Boss. He records the artists in their own words and films them in their studio settings. It will complement and enhance the programming this coming summer and fall.
Collaboration with Young Writers’ Program
The sixth book in Hablamos Juntos series will come out this Spring. It will feature the Califas Legacy artists. The annual reading at Bookshop Santa Cruz offered by our long-time collaborator, the Young Writers Program, will feature some of the young authors reading their narratives inspired by the artists’ images. Join us.
The online Califas Legacy Project exhibitions launch on March 5, 2021 on the Museo Eduardo Carrillo and Santa Cruz Art League web sites. A virtual reception and panel discussion hosted by SCAL takes place the evening of March 5th. Museo’s Google Cultural Initiative exhibition launches on sequential Tuesdays beginning March 9, 2021.