“¡Printing the Revolution!” Virtual Conversation Series: Cross-Generational Mentorship and Influence

  • On January 26, 2021, the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) presented a virtual conversation featuring artists whose work is represented in the landmark exhibition ¡Printing the Revolution!: The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now. The conversation highlighted Chicanx artistic exchanges and mentorships across generations, which grew out of an ongoing and mutual commitment to empower marginalized communities and support global liberation struggles. This cross-generational panel featured artists who have worked in the Bay Area together for years, using their artwork as a vehicle for international solidarity and social change. 

    Participants included Juan Fuentes, a renowned printmaker, and activist, who was the former executive director of Mission Gráfica at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, one of the major print centers dedicated to transnational artistic exchange; and Dignidad Rebelde (Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes), an artistic collective based in Oakland, California. Their artwork highlights support for Indigenous rights, Palestinian solidarity, and the Black Lives Matter movement. The panel was moderated by Terezita Romo, an art historian, curator, and a lecturer and affiliate faculty member at the University of California, Davis. Romo is also a contributor to the ¡Printing the Revolution! catalogue.

    This program is part of an online conversation series that examines Chicanx graphics and how artists have used printmaking to debate larger social causes, reflect on issues of their time, and build community. Hear from artists, scholars, and activists about the Chicanx graphics movement, from civil rights–era prints to today’s digital landscape.

    This program received generous support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.