From the archives: UCSB Library showcases community art collection
An exhibit of groundbreaking prints dating back to the inception of California’s Chicano Civil Rights Movement opens on Oct. 25 at UC Santa Barbara Library.
The event, “Cultura Cura: 50 Years of Self Help Graphics in East LA,” highlights the library’s Special Research Collections extensive archive of art, records and related ephemera from Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG), an intergenerational Los Angeles-based nonprofit that has been facilitating and promoting printmaking and other art media by Chicano/a, Latinx and other BIPOC artists since 1970. SHG was founded by artists Carlos Bueno, Antonio Ibañez, Frank Hernandez and Sister Karen Boccalero.
“The Self Help Graphics & Art archives were first established at UCSB Library in 1986, making it one of the founding collections for the California Ethnic & Multicultural Archives (CEMA),” said Angel Diaz, CEMA curator and interim director of Special Research Collections. “Sister Boccalero recognized the importance of documenting and preserving the legacy of the community arts organization, and it remains one of our most requested archival collections.”
The SHG collection spans from 1960–2022, with the bulk of the material ranging from 1972–1992, primarily silk screen prints and slides, as well as organizational records and photographs.
The opening reception will begin at 5 p.m. in the Special Research Collections third-floor space, with Diaz moderating a panel discussion with Marvella Muro, SHG’s director of artistic programs and education, and L.A.-based artists Linda Vallejo and Phung Huynh.
The event is free and open to the public. “Cultura Cura” will be on display through June 21, 2024.
Diaz also recommends that attendees arrive early to visit the Day of the Dead altar in the library’s Ethnic & Gender Studies Collection, located on the second floor; students with UCSB’s Las Maestras Center will be on hand from 4–4:45 p.m. to discuss the installation. The altar will be on display through Nov. 22.