Juan Fuentes Sal Garcia - Printmakers - Arte Americas Fresno - Fall 2013

THREE EXHIBITS ON VIEW AT ARTE AMÉRICAS  THROUGH FEBRUARY 9, 2014:

  • Sal Garcia
  • Juan Fuentes
  • Print & Glory Collective



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GALERÍA DE LA COMUNIDAD: 
Works by SAL GARCIA


Sal Garcia was born in San Antonio, Texas and grew up in California's Central Valley. He has resided and worked in San Francisco for the last two and a half decades.
Noted for his unique use of color, Sal Garcia is an artist of unusual range working in painting, printmaking, sculpture and woodcarving. Movement and light are also very important in his technique and reflect his early exposure to the work of the Mexican master Siquieros at Taller Siquieros in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Sal was active in the Chicano and indigenous peoples' rights movement in the sixties, seventies and eighties. During this period he worked with numerous activist artists groups including "La Brocha del Valle" in the Central Valley, and was an early staff member at the Galeria de la Raza where he had the opportunity to curate numerous exhibitions.  

   Garcia's painting was used as the cover for 'Ceremony: Remixes and Rarities', a collection of music by Carlos Santana. This release was offered as a limited edition of only 100,000 copies.  The painting is of a shaman, and inspired by Olmec, Mayan, Aztec, and other indigenous Meso-American traditions. A central concept of pre-Columbian religion was that of the nahual state, when healing medicine men would invoke the powerful jaguar spirit, in which they could perform fearsome deeds, and act as protectors of their communities. The jaguar or "lord of the night" was known for it's many powers including speed, fertility, strength, intelligence and a mystical ability to cross between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Santana personally chose Garcia's richly toned & expressive jaguar painting for the cover after collecting his work for many years. 

Garcia has previously worked with Santana over the past several years handmaking amulets that are presented to special friends and dignitaries Santana meets in his travels. Among the people Santana has personally gifted Garcia's jewelry to include singer Ricky Martin & actor Edward James Olmos. 

In 1988 Garcia's first interaction with Santana came when he co-curated an exhibit at the Mission Cultural Center that documented Santana's then 20 year career & rise to cultural prominence.

"My recent painting and sculptures attempt to reclaim a lost symbology of the Pre-Columbian metaphysical worlds that have been silenced & repressed for 500 years" He added . "As a Chicano, connected to indigenous peoples by descent, I attempt to give voice through these transformative & spiritual images."

Garcia has shown broadly in California, in the United States, and internationally. His work is in numerous public and private collections including those of the Mexican Museum.








RUIZ GALLERY
Juan Fuentes:Grabados de la Gente /  Prints for the People


Juan Fuentes was born in New Mexico, one of eleven children whose parents were migrant farmworkers. The family moved to California in the early 1950’s in search of work  and settled in Monterey County near Moss Landing.

As a result of moving from labor camp to labor camp, following the cycle of crops, Fuentes attended five different elementary schools before his family finally settled outside of Watsonville where he graduated from high school in 1969. 

He was recruited to San Francisco State University through the Educational Opportunity Program and graduated in 1975 with a BA Degree in Painting and Drawing.
The turbulent times of the 70’s set the tone for his approach to creating art with a social content. Chicano, African American, Middle East, Asian and Native American struggles for racial equality, peace and justice helped shape a consistent theme and source for his art. His development and introduction to silkscreen printing by mentors and Chicano artists, Rupert Garcia and Malaquias Montoya, guided his subsequent community involvement and political approach to making posters.

In 1997 he began making relief prints while teaching at the San Francisco County Jails Art Programs in San Bruno, CA. The inspiration for his prints has been the social realist tradition in Latin America by artists, Jose Guadalupe Posada, Leopoldo Mendez and American artist Elizabeth Catlett from the Taller de Gráfica Popular in Mexico.

His work has focused on the figure or portrait as a means to tell a story and to elaborate on the human condition. This focus has always been to portray people of color in a position of resistance and strength.

He's been an artist/teacher and cultural activist in the Bay Area community for over thirty years and mentor to many young emerging artists, and his poster art is now part of the historical Chicano Poster Movement. Last year he retired as visiting faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute to dedicate more time and energy to his family and art.



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COMMUNITY ANNEX:  
PRINT & GLORY
The printmaking collective Print & Glory was established in 2010 by a diverse group of Fresno State students who were drawn together by a passion for the art form; known for being time consuming, complex and hands on. The club's membership is comprised of students, faculty, and community members who hold a deep passion and fascination for printmaking. Each artist varies in their printmaking discipline from serigraph, relief, lithography, and etching. Most do not dedicate themselves exclusively to just one medium, but instead explore all the techniques to express themselves. Members of Print & Glory will even combine printmaking techniques to achieve a desired aesthetic in their work. What you see before you includes a wide range of experience and knowledge spanning a number of months to a number of years. The group may be relatively new, but the art form is steeped in history; a history that Print & Glory plans to leave their mark on.