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.
Join us for another fun year at Luck of the Draw art raffle! Each ticket purchased receives one artwork. Raffle tickets now available! Enjoy the image gallery of donated artworks by clicking on an image to expand it. Download our Luck of the Draw 2020 Exhibition Catalog, below, to assist you in tracking your favorites from the exhibition.
Your ticket(s) purchased will be assigned ticket numbers in the order that they are sold. We will be in contact with you as soon as possible regarding your specific ticket numbers via email. Be sure to use the email address during checkout that you can be contacted at, with this information. More details, as they become available, will also be emailed to you.
Tickets for Luck of the Draw 2020 are purchased for the live stream event scheduled for December 6th, 2020 at 2pm PST. Each ticket purchased is guaranteed to receive an original artwork!
Artwork dimensions are now listed on the pdf catalog that is available for download at the bottom of this page.
Enjoy our first ever virtual exhibition. Every year we showcase the wonderful works by YOU, our members! Many of these artworks are for sale, click the link below to support your local artists by purchasing their work. Click on the images to view them at a larger size.
On First Friday, October 2nd, we hosted an Online First Friday Artist Conversation with some artists from the exhibition. At this online event we got to know some of these artists and their work, how they are doing in these unprecedented times, how they are staying creative, and more! Watch the recorded session on Facebook Live.
Exhibition Theme: Get closer to see all the details of these tiny paintings in watercolor, as most consist of artworks less than 1” wide! Miniature art is a little gem on your wall, or worn hanging from your ears or around your neck. Small but mighty, these Marvelous Minis are as much statement art as larger pieces, just more compact and cozy!
Click on an image below to view full size, and to view a slideshow. If you are interested in purchasing an artwork from the exhibition please email us at email@example.com by May 1st, with the title and artist name.
Thank you for visiting our Virtual Exhibition! To help support these artists and the Art League, click the button below to make a donation. You can choose any amount you want and whether you want to make a one-time donation or a recurring amount every month. Choose a donation level (credit card payment processing provided by Square.com)
Artist statement: This is a unique “adventure” that I was curious enough to try that brought me back to the fun and disciplines discovering another art form. The failures and successes gave way to a renewed joy of the magic and desire to create. My love of color, composition and the mystery of paint gave light to challenge my own thoughts and ideas. This “adventure” excites me into so many more discoveries.
Engage with your creative community of artists and visit Karen’s Spotlight at the Santa Cruz Art League.
Since 1955 the Santa Cruz Art League’s High School Show has been providing one of the only professional gallery exhibitions for high school age artists in our county. Students from local public, private, charter, home and at -risk schools are invited to benefit from the Art League’s state-of-the-art space and give the audience a preview of the next generation of local artists.
For almost nine decades, the Santa Cruz Art League’s Statewide Landscape Exhibition has showcased the work of artists across the Golden State who depict California’s foothills, mountains, seashores, and deserts of the interior and coastal regions.
Travel can mean both the journey and the destination. But rather than reiterating clichéd images, curious photographers focus their lens on details of a scene, or moments unfolding around them, bringing the region’s culture to life. Were you able to connect with people in a foreign land, even if you didn’t speak the language, by taking their photo? Have you ever captured a day-in-a-life scene that tells a story of tradition or human emotion? Did you find yourself in a stunning landscape far from home, and actually do it justice in a photo? Share your indelible travel memories.
Juror: Allison Garcia Freelance Photographer & Co-Producer of Open Show Santa Cruz
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