CSRC Newsletter - November 2011

Volume 10, Number 3

Director's Message

Los Angeles is often called the City of Dreams. Ironically, one of the first artworks to capture the failure of this dream for the city's Mexican-descent population does so by way of a dream deferred elsewhere and for another racial minority group. On September 4, 1957, nine black students attempted to enter Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, only to be turned away by the National Guard amid an angry mob of white adults and students (this is the subject of a book released this month). The next day, photographs of fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Ann Eckford being hounded off the campus as she cradled her schoolbooks appeared in newspapers around the world, providing a catalyst in ongoing efforts to desegregate public schools in the United States. Domingo Ulloa (1919–1997), an L.A. artist, saw these images and almost immediately painted Racism/Incident at Little Rock (1957). Working in the social realist tradition, Ulloa foregrounded Eckford alongside five other black children, depicting the angry mob as white froglike figures with exaggerated mouths and no eyes or ears. The image, Norman Rockwell meets Salvador Dalí, captures the emotional impact of the news photos, shifting viewer identification from an aggrieved white citizenry to the black children who were being denied the American Dream.
In the decades before the civil rights movement, racial violence and segregation in schools, restaurants, and public spaces targeted both the African American and Mexican American communities. Ulloa, as well as other Mexican American artists born in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s, is part of a hyphen generation that developed what Terezita Romo calls a “bicultural aesthetic synthesis” of Mexican tradition and American modernism. This can be seen in Ulloa’s work in Art Along the Hyphen: The Mexican American Generation, an L.A. Xicano exhibition at the Autry National Center. Ulloa was classically trained as an artist in Mexico in the 1930s. After serving in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, he returned to Los Angeles, where he studied with Italian-born Rico Lebrun. Lebrun’s figurative expressionism stood in contrast to the hard-edged abstraction that now defines the emerging Los Angeles art scene of the late 1950s and 1960s as a “cool school.” That less recognized, uncool approach represents a precursor to the Chicano art movement of the 1970s. This explains why in 1993 the California State Assembly proclaimed Ulloa as “The Father of Chicano Art.” But it also signals something that both the cool and uncool artists of the period understood about the City of Dreams, even when they looked elsewhere, as Ulloa did with Racism/Incident at Little Rock or Edward Kienholz did with Five Car Stud (1969­­–72): “In dreams begin responsibilities."
Chon A. Noriega
Director and Professor


Mapping Another L.A. sets preview record at Fowler Museum
More than 1,600 people attended the preview party for the Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement exhibition at the Fowler Museum on Saturday, October 15, setting a preview attendance record for the museum. Guests also enjoyed the Icons of the Invisible: Oscar Castillo exhibition, which opened on September 25 at the Fowler. A number of CSRC-sponsored events at the museum, including the CSRC’s open house on October 24 and exhibition tours conducted by Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, continue to bring in viewers new to Chicana/o art, as well as those with long, deep connections to the work on display—including several of the exhibited artists!
UCLA promoting healthy food choices in East L.A.
As part of a project designed to reduce cardiovascular disease risk among Latinos in East Los Angeles, the UCLA-USC Center for Population Health and Health Disparities has converted a corner store to offer healthier food choices. Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, along with UCLA faculty and community members, celebrated the reopening of YASH La Casa Market on October 29. The store no longer advertises soft drinks and beer in its windows and now features a juice bar, fresh produce, an outdoor vegetable garden, and free Wi-Fi. East L.A. is considered a “food desert” by many because residents have poor access to comprehensive grocery stores with foods recommended for a healthy diet and because of the area’s preponderance of fast food restaurants. The project, titled “Corner Store Makeover in East L.A.,” is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, is on the National Scientific Advisory Board for this project.
History of the border patrol wins award
UCLA history professor Kelly Lytle Hernández’s book Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010) won the 2010 William P. Clements Center’s Prize for the Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America. The award will be presented to Hernández on November 8 at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Associate director to present on Latino aging
Maria Elena Ruiz, CSRC associate director, will present a paper titled “Latinos Aging in Skid Row: Bridging Nursing Science and Social Justice” at the Gerontological Society of America’s (GSA) annual conference in Boston on November 18­–22. The GSA conference attracts a diverse group of international researchers focused on aging, health, and policy issues. Ruiz will be sharing the findings from her research study, which was funded by the Institute of American Culture and the CSRC.
New webpage for Chican@s Collect
Chican@s Collect, one of the CSRC’s five L.A. Xicano exhibitions, has a new web page. Now on display in the CSRC Library, Chican@s Collect presents selections from the Chicana/o art and art-related books and other materials that Mary and Armando Durón have been collecting for almost thirty years. The works on display are presented in the context of objects from the Durón Family Collection library that provide historical and cultural documentation. In this way, the collection offers a unique perspective on Chicana/o art and culture. Please visit the new web page for more information.

CSRC in the News

UCLA’s Daily Bruin provided advance coverage of “Diga Me!” in an October 26 story titled “Fowler Event Diga Me! Celebrates Chicano Literature.” The event, part of the New Short Fiction Series, featured readings by Chicano authors Ron Arias, Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin, and Alejandro Murguía. The event was presented in conjunction with Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement.
La Gente covered the CSRC’s annual open house in an October 25 story. The article acknowledges the fiftieth birthday of Chon A. Noriega. This year also marks the tenth year that Noriega has served as director of the CSRC and his fifteenth year as editor of Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies.
An article in UCLA’s Daily Bruin on October 26 featured the Thursday night Fowler Out Loud music series. The series included a show by the Chicano music group Cambalache, presented in conjunction with Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement.
The October 26 print version of the Los Angeles Times featured an image of Dora De Larios’s Sierra Madre (1960) in the calendar section for Art Along the Hyphen: The Mexican American Generation.
Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement made ARTINFO’s top ten art picks for the week of October 25.
For Your Art published an interview with curator Pilar Tompkins Rivas about Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement on October 24. Tompkins Rivas notes that the exhibition includes “many large scale and graphic works that redefined social space during the 1970s.” She points out that the goal of the exhibition is “to be immersive, visually, rather than present a chronology or focus on individual objects.”
The blog History in the City featured an October 18 blurb on Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement.
An October 17 story in Artdaily.org titled “A Visual ‘Mashup’ of Chicano Muralism at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art” highlighted the Mural Remix: Sandra de la Loza exhibition.
Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director and exhibition co-curator, and Pilar Tompkins Rivas, exhibition co-curator, are quoted in an October 17 story in UCLA’s Daily Bruin about Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement. In discussing the wide range of Chicana/o art groups represented in the exhibition, Noriega noted, “We want to show what these artists did … and how that created a social network across the city that allowed hundreds of other artists to get exposure and training.”
The October 15 issue of La Opinión highlighted the L.A. Xicano exhibitions.
The Los Angeles Times ran a blurb on October 13 for Art Along the Hyphen: The Mexican American Generation and repeated it in their “Happening Friday” section on October 14.
Latina Lista reposted an October 11 Amigos805 story about the L.A. Xicano exhibitions.
An October 10 post in La Bloga promotes the five L.A. Xicano exhibitions.
ARTINFO ponders the implications of the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions on the history of art in an October 7 article titled “Will Pacific Standard Time Rewrite L.A.'s Place in Art History? The Experts Weigh In.”
An October 5 story on the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions published in ARTINFO includes an image of Oscar Castillo’s photograph of the Goez Art Studios facade decorated with The Birth of Our Art (1971), a mural designed by Don Juan/Johnny D. Gonzalez.
Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement was previewed October 4 in the ARTnews blog “Let My People Show.”
ARTnews ran an October 4 story about the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions, referencing Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement.
An October 3 post on La Bloga, titled “Libros Schmibros—L.A.'s Unsung Hometown Oracles,” gives a shout out to the CSRC Library’s new Friends of the Library program and the Chican@s Collect exhibition currently on display at the library through December 9.
L.A. Xicano artist Dora De Larios was featured in an October 1 NPR story about the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions. Her work appears in Art Along the Hyphen, at the Autry National Center.
PDFs of all articles are available on the CSRC website.


CSRC hosting UCLA Dream fundraiser
UCLA faculty and staff are organizing a fundraiser for scholarships for UCLA’s undocumented immigrant students on Tuesday, November 1, 4:00–6:00 p.m., at the CSRC (193 Haines Hall). Chon A. Noriega, CSRC director, is serving as a member of the host committee. Although the California Dream Act has been signed into law, it does not take effect until January 2013. The fundraiser is aimed at helping students in the interim. The event is co-sponsored by the Liberty Hill Foundation.
CSRC co-sponsoring AAP fortieth anniversary presentation
As part of a speaker series to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the Academic Advancement Program at UCLA, the CSRC and the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies are co-sponsoring a presentation by David Hayes-Bautista. The event will be held on Wednesday, November 2, 5:00–7:00 p.m., on the Bunche Patio. Hayes-Bautista is professor of medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA’s School of Medicine.
CSRC Library to screen Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano
The CSRC Library will feature Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano, a film produced by CSRC benefactor Dan Guerrero, on Thursday, November 3, 4:00­­–6:00 p.m. The film documents the life and career of Lalo Guerrero, Dan’s father, who was known as the Father of Chicano Music. Photographs and historic footage guide viewers through seven decades of Mexican American history and Mexican American music, from cha-chas to rancheras, boleros to boogie. Lalo Guerrero talks about his life with warmth and humor, and artists and activists who knew him share their personal stories. A Q&A session with the producer will follow the screening.
CSRC library to host book event
Join us as we celebrate the publication of Maylei Blackwell’s book, ¡Chicana Power! Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement on Thursday, November 17, 4:00­–6:00 p.m., in the CSRC Library. Blackwell is an assistant professor of Chicana/o studies and women’s studies at UCLA. The first book-length study of women’s involvement in the Chicano Movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, ¡Chicana Power! traces the emergence of feminist thought among diverse groups of Chicana student activists. The event is co-sponsored by the CSRC, the UCLA Center for Oral History Research, the UCLA Library, and the UCLA Center for the Study of Women.
Symposium to recount Orange County segregation case
A symposium titled “Doss v. Bernal: Mexican Apartheid in Orange County, 1900–1943” will be held Monday, November 21, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., in the California Room at the UCLA Faculty Center. The purpose of this symposium is to draw public attention to the important but little known desegregation case Doss v. Bernal (1943). The case successfully challenged the residential segregation of Mexican Americans in Orange County and resulted in one of the earliest legal victories against racial housing covenants in the United States. The symposium will feature the testimonios of surviving members of the Bernal family, as well as special presentations by various scholars. The event is co-sponsored by the CSRC, the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies, UCLA Vice Provost of Diversity and Faculty Development, and the UCLA Law School Critical Race Program.
L.A. Xicano-related activities this month
L.A. Xicano: A Symposium on Art and Place, Sunday, November 6, 12:00–5:00 p.m., Fowler Museum at UCLA
Los Angeles is often called the City of Dreams, yet those dreams often point away from the Mexican-descent population at its core and toward a dream factory (Hollywood), consumer mecca (Rodeo Drive), or make-believe world (Disneyland). This symposium will bring together artists, curators, and scholars to reconsider the history of L.A. art, not from the perspective of dreams, but as an ongoing dialogue about place. The symposium will include both panel discussions and performances. For more information, please visit the Fowler website.
Culture Fix: David Botello, Wednesday, November 9, 12:00 p.m., Fowler Museum at UCLA
David Botello, co-founder of the art collective Los Dos Streetscapers, discusses the forgotten artists of the Chicano Art Movement, including Robert Arenivar, Charles “Cat” Felix, and Carlos Almaraz. The talk, which is free, will be held in the Mapping Another L.A. gallery.
Discussion: Chicanos and Counter-Culture, Sunday, November 13, 1:00 p.m., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Bing Auditorium
Artists Sandra de la Loza (Pocho Research Society), Louie Perez (Los Lobos), and Thomas Carrasco (Chicano Secret Service) will discuss Chicano art and countercultural production since the 1960s. The event is free.
Gallery Talk: Chon A. Noriega and Guest Artists, Sunday, November 13, 4:00 p.m., Fowler Museum at UCLA
Chon A. Noriega, co-curator of Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement will lead a conversation with Richard Duardo, master printer; Evonne Gallardo, director of Self Help Graphics & Art; and other artists about the use of printmaking as a force in the struggle for social justice. This free event will be held in the Mapping Another L.A. gallery.
Music of a Generation, Sunday, November 13 and December 11, 2:00 p.m., Autry National Center
This three-part series explores the emerging musical identity of the Los Angeles community from 1945 to 1965, including its strong ties to Mexican American and Chicano culture. Each program features local musicians and dancers. Free with museum admission.
Mural Remix Tour I, Saturday, November 19, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., starting at the Fowler Museum at UCLA
Cruise through history and journey through East Los Angeles during this event that highlights the influential Chicano art collective Asco. The day starts with a tour of Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement by co-curator Pilar Tompkins Rivas. Guests will then travel by bus to LACMA; Raul Villa, professor of English and comparative literature at Occidental College, will provide context and insight along the way. At LACMA guests will tour Asco: Elite of the Obscure with curator Rita Gonzalez. The day concludes with a short talk by Willie F. Herrón III at the site of his newly commissioned mural, which pays homage to Asco’s iconic Walking Mural (1972). Bus transportation is provided and includes a no-host lunch stop. Reservations are required to attend this free tour. Reservations open Tuesday, November 1; call (323) 857-6564. Parking at UCLA is $11. Co-sponsored by the CSRC and LACMA.
Screening of The Exiles (1961), Saturday, November 19, 2:00 p.m., Autry National Center
The Exiles chronicles one night in the lives of a group of twenty-something Native Americans living in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles in the 1950s. For the men and women featured in the film, the neighborhood is an escape from the monotony of life on the reservation. Based entirely on interviews with the participants and their friends, the film is considered a precious artifact of a lost time and place. The 35mm print is courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Free with museum admission.

CSRC Library

CSRC librarian to attend Guadalajara book fair
Lizette Guerra, CSRC archivist and librarian, was selected as a recipient of the ALA-FIL Free Pass Program to be one of the U.S. librarians who will be attending this year’s Guadalajara International Book Fair. The Spanish-language book fair, the largest in the western hemisphere, provides an unparalleled opportunity for librarians to evaluate books, reference materials, videos, CDs, and more that will benefit their students and users. The fair runs from November 26 to December 4.
New collections being processed
Library staff have begun processing the archives of Ricardo Muñoz, a retired Los Angles court justice and attorney. Muñoz has been very active in Los Angeles’s Chicano community and is an outstanding supporter of the arts and education. This collection of his personal papers includes his parents’ correspondence during World War II, along with an unusually detailed paper record of the family’s day-to-day history. This archive will provide an excellent resource for those studying the sociology and anthropology of Latino and Chicano families in the American Southwest.
Artwork to be available online
The process of digitizing the Patssi Valdez collection of photographically documented artworks is under way. The online collection will also include Valdez’s own photographic art. The collection, with a full compliment of metadata, will be available in the spring of 2012.

CSRC Press

New in The Chicano Archives series
Since the late 1960s, photographer Oscar Castillo has documented the Chicano community in Los Angeles and South Texas. His subjects range from political events to cultural practices to the work of muralists and painters. His photographs explore major themes (social movement, cultural heritage, urban environment, barrio life) and approaches (photojournalism, portraiture, art photography). The Oscar Castillo Photograph Collection at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center contains more than 3,000 digital images that are available through an online archive.
Editor Colin Gunckel brings together essays by scholars and artists who consider the social, political, historical, and aesthetic dimensions of the photographer’s body of work. Illustrations and a color plate section feature photographs from the archive. The book also includes a guide to the photograph collection and a finding aid for the Oscar Castillo Papers, a collection of correspondence and other documents housed at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. An exhibition highlight, an exhibition history, and a selected bibliography complete the volume. The book, which will be available in mid-December, is available through the distributor, University of Washington Press.
A Ver titles volumes praised in new review
Two A Ver volumes receive accolades in a recently published review in Woman’s Art Journal: María Brito, by Juan A. Martínez, and Celia Alvarez Muñoz, by Roberto Tejada. The reviewer, Tatiana Flores, notes the different approaches taken by the two authors—Martínez’s is a biographical accounting; Tejada’s is a series of interrelated essays. Flores determines that Martínez “convincingly argues for Brito’s recognition as an American artist, and in so doing advocates for a more plural understanding of ‘American’ art.” Turning to Tejada’s work, she quotes the author, saying that he “effectively demonstrates how Alvarez Muñoz’s critical dialogue with mainstream art and its institutions exposes ‘features of a culture often neglected by histories of art founded only on aesthetic form.’”
Flores concludes the review with this observation about the series: “As part of the A Ver: Revisioning Art History series of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press, María Brito and Celia Alvarez Muñoz both live up to the promise made by the series editors in that they form the basis for a meaningful art history. As such, they help to redefine contemporary ‘American’ art in more inclusive terms and lay the groundwork for a comprehensive history of U.S. Latino/a art.” Both volumes are available from the distributor, University of Minnesota Press. A PDF of the review is available here.


Call for book reviews
Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies is currently considering book review submissions for 2012. The journal has many books available for review; please contact David O’Grady, assistant editor, at dogrady@chicano.ucla.edu for more information. And if you have a specific title in mind for review, please let us know. Submission guidelines can be found on the CSRC website.

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