The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This essay by Ralph García gives a brief overview of the basic differences between Chicano and Mexican art and how these two art forms are expressed and received in San Antonio, Texas. García first provides a definition of Chicano art and argues that both Chicano and Mexican artists produce works that are equivalent to those of other artists with regard to their style and content. The majority of the document is dedicated to outlining specific problems facing different categories of the arts including dance, music, theatre, literature, and the visual arts. García addresses the impact of tourism in San Antonio and its impact on mainstream perceptions of Chicano art, arguing that both Chicano and Mexican artists are limited in their freedoms due to the need to produce commercially viable art that meets the expectations of tourists. The author acknowledges that many artists from both sides of the United States/Mexican border have been able to maintain an individual relationship with their art in spite of the demands of tourism.
In this essay, Ralph García writes from his perspective as a San Antonio artist concerned with the impact tourist commercialization can have on art, as well as a Chicano artist concerned with stereotyping. It was written for the 1979 Canto al Pueblo conference in Corpus Christi, an annual gathering of Chicano artists and writers held at different cities throughout the Midwest and Southwest during the 1970s. This published version appeared in Caracol, a key publication for the promotion and discussion of Chicano art practice in Texas, which was distributed nationally. Due to its proximity and economic connection to Mexico, Caracol also included essays, such as this one, that were binational in focus.