Califas Legacy Updates

Eduardo Carillo: Comunidad de Califas

Virtual Exhibition at UCSC’s Sesnon Gallery

Dates: Wedneday, February 3 to Saturday April 3, 2021
Location: online  at

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.

Contact:  Shelby Graham and Louise Leong
More programming will be presented throughout the exhibition on Sesnon website—for updated exhibition information check the Sesnon Gallery website.

Image credit: Eduardo Carrillo, Las Tres Mujeres de Tepeyac, 1994, Oil on linen, 48” x 54”, Collection of the Art Museum of South Texas, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Keeler

Califas Legacy Project: January – April 2021

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
Monterey Museum of Art
Museo Eduardo Carrillo
Santa Cruz Art League 
Santa Cruz Public Libraries
Watsonville Public Library 
UCSC Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery
UCSC Institute of Arts and Sciences and UCSC Library Special Collections & Archives, with Moving Parts Press


Monterey Museum of Art
TITLE: The Califas Legacy Project: The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral 
(CALIFAS artists, partners, and the book, Califas: The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral with other Moving Parts Press books)
DATES: January 8 – April 11, 2021
SYMPOSIUM: Third Annual Art of the State Symposium: Change = Action/Time, January 9, 2021 @ 10:00am-4:00pm
ADDRESS: 559 Pacific St, Monterey, CA 93949
CONTACT Allyson Hitte

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: January 16th, 2021 ongoing
ADDRESS: and the Google Cultural Institute
CONTACT: Betsy Andersen

Santa Cruz Art League

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 and Susan Nilsson

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

Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery, UCSC
TITLE: Eduardo Carrillo: Comunidad de Califas
(Virtual exhibition of Eduardo Carrillo monographic retrospective)
DATES: February 3 – April 3, 2021
ZOOM RECEPTION: February 3, 2020 @ 4:00-5:00pm (Tour of the virtual exhibition hub, website, and a panel discussion)
ADDRESS: online
CONTACT: Shelby Graham and Louise Leong
More programming will be presented throughout the exhibition on Sesnon website

Institute of Arts and Sciences, UCSC and Special Collections & Archives, UCSC with Moving Parts Press
TITLE: Rising From the Ashes: The Artistry and Perseverance of Moving Parts Press
(panel moderated by Rachel Nelson, Director, Institute of Arts and Sciences, UCSC, sponsored by UCSC Special Collections and Institute for Arts and Science featuring Felicia Rice)
DATES: January 28, 2020 @ 5-6:30pm
ADDRESS: online
CONTACT: Teresa Mora and Felicia Rice

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

California Arts Council
California Humanities
Arts Council Santa Cruz County
Santa Cruz Arts Commission
Hit and Run Press

Califas Legacy Project: Documenting our region’s Chicano/a cultural treasures

In 1982, as a professor of art at UC Santa Cruz, Eduardo Carrillo with Philip Brookman brought together innovative Chicano artists, intellectuals and visionaries at the  UC sponsored conference, “Califas: Chicano art and culture in California.” Drawing inspiration from the spirit of the conference, The Califas Legacy Project is a multi-year, multi-medium, collaborative endeavor launched by Museo Eduardo Carrillo to document the legacy of our region’s Chicano/a cultural treasures: Guillermo (Yermo) Aranda, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Ralph D’Oliveira,  and Carmen León. One medium is not enough to represent them and so the project includes a remarkable handprinted accordion book, a documentary film about the artists, web presence through Museo’s legacy section and a traveling exhibition of the featured artists’ work. 

The development of  Califas The Ancestral Journey/ El Viaje Ancestral  accordion book, December 2019.

Califas: The Ancestral Journey/El Viaje Ancestral

In recognition of this need to focus on the art 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. Working with book artist, typographer, and publisher Felicia Rice of Moving Parts Press, the first phase of the project to be completed is a hand-painted, hand-printed, and hand-bound 18” x 18” x 18′ accordion-fold book that intertwines the Mexican-American, Chican/a/x, Peruvian, and Indigenous heritages of five central coast artists. The cover will be a shadowbox assemblage by Amalia. The expressive mural within by Ralph, Carmen and Yermo takes us on a mythic journey. An essay by Watsonville native, Gabriela Rodriguez-Gomez will be included. The book will roll out in a phased schedule between June and September 2020. What has been so gratifying to us all is that the Santa Cruz and Watsonville public libraries have developed a suite of programming for the community around the launch of the book this Summer and Fall. More updates will follow.

Do you already love this book? We plan to print a run of 750 trade edition books that will be distributed free to libraries, schools, universities and colleges and other cultural and social service agencies in our region. And beyond. 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.

Traveling exhibition

Our project continues in 2021, through extended web presence in Museo’s Califas Legacy section. Would you like to see the work in person? A traveling exhibition of the featured artists Amalia Mesa-Bains, Carmen León, Ralph D’Oliveira and Yermo Aranda will be mounted at the Santa Cruz Art League in January and travel to the Monterey Museum of Art in the Spring, uniting our Central Coast communities. Be sure to come see the monographic exhibition of Eduardo’s work at the Sesnon Gallery at UC, Santa Cruz, curated by Shelby Graham, showing concurrently in Winter of 2021.


Thanks to the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz City Arts, and hit & run press for their support for this project.


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