Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art

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Synopsis

This document is a 1977 calendar produced by the Movimiento Artístico Chicano (MARCH), which includes biographies and reproductions of works by twelve Chicago-area Chicano artists, one for each month. Significant dates in Chicano history are also noted on the calendar. In his essay entitled “MARCH: Movimiento Artistico Chicano,” artist Carlos Cortez charts the history of the organization, writing about the group’s social concerns, as well as its efforts at painting murals and organizing exhibitions of Mexican and Chicano art for Latino audiences. Cortez also stresses that the group was created by individuals concerned with art and its effects on humanity who, while proud of their own racial heritage, also believed it necessary to maintain contact and exchange with the “Anglo-American dominant culture” and other ethnic minorities who shared La Raza’s [a. k. a. Chicanos’] experience. 

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This document provides a history of Movimiento Artístico Chicano (MARCH), a group that was instrumental in creating opportunities for Chicano and Latino artists in the Midwest, as well as in bringing important art from Mexico to be exhibited in Chicago, the works by Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, Rufino Tamayo, and Xavier Guerrero, among others. Founded in 1971 in East Chicago (Indiana) by José G. González, MARCH moved its operations to the city of Chicago in 1972 where, during the 1970s, it organized a series of exhibitions of Mexican, Chicano, Latino, and Native American art. During the early 1980s, the poet Carlos Cumpián and the visual artist Carlos Cortéz Koyokuikatl directed MARCH’s efforts toward promoting national networks of Latino organizations, and continuing to display art by Latin artists. MARCH brought art to the working classes and the barrio, and participated at the national level via its invitation to the National Mural Conference held in New York City in April 1976. More than that, this document provides a lexicon of Chicago-area Chicano artists and brings to light the vibrancy of their community. It also makes clear the challenge of producing art while juggling working-class life in the Midwest thousands of miles from one’s previous, or ancestral homeland. 

Researcher
Victor Alejandro Sorell, Gabrielle Toth; Harper Montgomery, collaborator
Team
Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, USA
Credit
Courtesy of MARCH Abrazo Press, MARCH Inc.,Chicago, IL