Virtual Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960s to 1980s

Apr. 8

Apr. 8 @ 5:00 pm Aug. 21 @ 5:00 pm

About

Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960’s to 1980’s highlights Chicano and Chicana artists in Austin, Texas during “El Movimiento” (The Chicano Civil Rights Movement). This exhibition serves as a primer on the rich and understudied Chicano art movement in Austin, presenting a variety of mediums, themes, and artists. Artwork by prolific artists of the area paired with documentary ephemera creates context for those turbulent times. This exhibition highlights the challenges these artists faced as they learned about their history, dealt with systemic injustice, sought a unique Chicano/a art voice, and found or created a place for themselves.

The exhibition brings together revolutionary artwork with abstract, conceptual, and commercial art, showing the breadth of creativity that these artists achieved in this time in a variety of forms including visual art, music by the band Conjunto Aztlán and others, photography, dance, music, poetry, literature, film, and other forms.

Prominent Visual Artists

The exhibition includes Tito Aguirre, M.A. Ambray Gonzales, Alicia Arredondo, Alicia Barraza, Santa Barraza, Sam Coronado, Nancy de los Santos, Nora González Dodson, Carolina Flores, Rey Gaytan,  Carmen Lomas Garza, Mary Jane Garza, Marsha Gomez, Luis Guerra, Juan Pablo Gutierrez, Luis Gutierrez, Bruce Harnett, Bill Leissner, Pedro Meyer, Sylvia Orozco, Janis Palma, Amado Peña, Yolanda Petrocelli, Alan Pogue, Pio Pulido, Manuel “Chaca” Ramirez, Pedro Rodriguez, Vicente “Chente” Rodriguez, Marta Sanchez, José Treviño, Modesta Treviño, and Raul Valdez, and murals by the next generation Master Muralist Amado Castillo III with Amado Castillo IV, and student assistants.

Historical Context

The 1960s saw the beginning of a great push for socioeconomic and racial justice across the United States, Texas, and Austin. Protests took place demanding access to affordable housing, better working conditions, quality education, and later in the decade and into the 1970s, a push against higher-than-average draft rates of Mexican American and Black men into the Vietnam War. Multi-cultural alliances were seen in events like Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta helping the United Farm Works Union organize Mexican American and Filipino farmworkers.

These tumultuous times and events touched the heart of Texas as well. In and around Austin protests for farmworkers rights took place, KKK rallies occurred, police brutality went unchecked, the Texas Farm Workers marched in advocation of better labor rights for farmers, and the Brown Berets called upon Mexican Americans and the U.S. Government for a more just existence for Mexican Americans. Many Chicana and Chicano artists began to connect the lessons they were learning about the systemic oppression of Mexican Americans to the events that were happening around them.

For some of these Austin artists a “Concientización” (Awakening of consciousness) took place while learning the history of oppression their people faced, gaining pride in their connections to indigenous and mestizo roots, or finding unity in the concept of “Aztlán” (the ancestral Aztec homeland). This awakening led to a re evaluation of their artwork. During this time The University of Texas art faculty focused on the popular art trend of “Universal” art; artwork that appealed to all people. These teachers made it clear that art should not be used as a political tool, but instead a more personal expression. For some of these young Chicano and Chicana artists, standing outside the fray with their artwork was not an option. Many of these artists created work for local Chicano newspapers and political causes, while also creating more traditional art projects to fulfill their assignments as students.

In and out of the university arena, anxiousness about systemic injustice spilled into the community and artists reacted by joining community protests and creating opportunities to learn and teach Chicano art and culture.  These efforts evolved into the creations of civic and cultural organizations pushing for greater equality. Some of these included LUChA (League of United Chicano Artists), MAS (Mujeres Artistas Del Suroeste), CASA (Chicano Art Student Association), MAYO (Mexican American Youth Organization), the Brown Berets, and the Raza Unida Party. A push for greater education equality led to the founding of the Center for Mexican American Studies at The University of Texas, a leader in Chicano education in universities. A push for creative independence would lead some of these people to begin their own organizations like La Peña Gallery and Mexic-Arte Museum in the mid- eighties.

part of the exhibition is enhanced with a web page, an online exhibition and a virtual lecture series, all established in order to better reach a broader audience. The exhibition is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Themes

Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960’s to 1980’s is divided into five themes: Creating a context, Los Artistas, M.A.S. (Mujeres Artistas del Suroeste) Women of the Southwest, Chicano Activism at UT Austin and in the Community, and Establishing Centros and Museums.

In keeping with our mission, the Museum’s Collection is a vehicle whereby the public can gain access to valuable information on cultural heritage. Humanities programs encourage an understanding of humanity in the broader culture of Texas, and in the global community.


Artwork used in event banner:  José Treviño, Unos de los Quemados,1974, Oil on canvas, 38″ x 30″, n.d. Courtesy of Modesta and José Treviño.


CultureConnect is a new mobile tool that Mexic-Arte Museum is utilizing to make exhibitions and artwork accessible to the community. Explore the Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960’s to 1980’s in depth!



Virtual Lecture Series

In conjunction with the online exhibit, the Mexic-Arte Museum hosted a series of online lectures led by art historians and professors from July 12th – August 23rd. The virtual lectures were live streamed via Facebook Live, and moderated by Mexic-Arte Museum Curator & Director of Programs Isabel Servantez.


A History of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Austin, 1691-1990

Lecture led by Dr. Cynthia Orozco

The first lecture and Q&A in the Humanities Scholars Lecture Series is led by Dr. Cynthia E. Orozco. This lecture address the early colonial history of the Austin area, the arrival of Mexicans to the area, the establishment of barrios, and the political, economic, and social status of this community before 1990.

Dr. Cynthia E. Orozco is an award-winning best-selling author, public historian, and film and museum consultant.

A Personal Testimonio: The Convergence of the Chicano Movement, Chicano Studies and the Xicano/a Cultural Renaissance in Austin, Texas, 1972-1980.

Lecture led by Juan Tejeda

The second lecture and Q&A in the Humanities Scholars Lecture Series is led by Juan Tejeda. A personal testament to his experiences within the Chicano movement, Tejeda re-accounts the groundwork laid that helped further the social justice and liberation ideals and goals of the Chicano Movement.

Juan Tejeda is a musician, writer, ex-jefe danzante Mexica-Azteca, arts administrator, educator, activist, editor and publisher.

As part of the virtual lecture, we invite you to read or download Juan Tejedas essay, “ A Personal Testimonio: The Convergence of the Chicano Movement, Chicano Studies and the Xicano/a Cultural Renaissance in Austin, Texas, 1972-1980.

The Origins and Evolution of Chicano Art: Perspectives on Texas and California

Lecture led by Dr. Ricardo Romo

The third lecture and Q&A in the Humanities Scholars Lecture Series is led by Dr. Ricardo Romo. This lecture explores how America’s largest Latino states, Texas and California, influenced Chicano art over the period 1967-1985.

Dr. Ricardo Romo is a nationally respected urban historian who has served on four Presidential Commissions and has taught and published in the field of civil rights, Mexican American history, and urban history. 

Exploring the Influence and Significance of Latin American Visual Culture in Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960s to 1980s

Lecture led by Dr. Lucía Abramovich Sánchez

The fourth lecture and Q&A in the Humanities Scholars Lecture Series is led by Dr. Lucía Abramovich Sánchez. Viewing the exhibit through the lens of cross-cultural references, Sánchez reviews the references to Latin American art in the works included in the exhibition.

Lucía Abramovich Sánchez is the Associate Curator of Latin American Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA).

Managing Migration: Criminalization vs Legalization

Lecture led by Dr. Gilbert Cardenas

The fifth lecture and Q&A in the Humanities Scholars Lecture Series is led by Dr. Gilbert Cardenas. This lecture focuses on the impact of a disproportionate reliance on criminalization strategies for the management of migration flows across the US- Mexican border which has had caused great harm to the flows of migrants.

Gilberto Cárdenas was the founding Executive Director of the Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture. He was the founding Director of the Institute for Latino Studies, 1999-2012 and Assistant Provost at the University of Notre Dame.

A love affair of a fronteriza with Chicano Art. Una memoria.

Lecture led by Dr. Amelia Malagamba Ansótegui

The sixth lecture and Q&A in the Humanities Scholars Lecture Series was led by Dr. Amelia Malagamba Ansótegui. In an introduction to her personal experience with Chicano Art from the late 1960s on, Ansótegui relates her own history as a fronteriza del otro lado.

Dr. Amelia Malagamba Ansótegui is the Co-founder of El Colegio de la Frontera Norte” a research institution, at the main campus in Tijuana.

The Chicana Movement in Austin: A Legacy of Activism, Feminism, and Intergenerational Encuentros

Lecture led by Dr. Brenda Sendejo

The seventh lecture and Q&A in the Humanities Scholars Lecture Series was led by Dr. Brenda Sendejo. Sharing interviews, oral histories, and archival research on Chicana activism, feminism, and spirituality this presentation focused on Dr. Sendejo’s collaborative research with women involved in the Texas Chicana/o movement.

 Dr. Brenda Sendejo is a cultural anthropologist who is co-founder and director of the Latina History Project. This intergenerational oral history/digital archive project documents Chicana and Latina civil rights, feminism, and activism in Texas since the 1960s. 



Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austen, Tejas 1960s to 1980s has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition and programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Thank you to our sponsors!