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 document is an interview between artist and guest curator, Ralph Maradiaga and René Yañez, both co-directors of Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco, California. Yañez speaks about the beginnings of the Chicano Art Movement and the growth the movement has experienced since the late-1960s, especially the themes addressed by Chicano artists and the development of new art forms. He highlights the creation of Galeria de la Raza as a pioneering effort in the development of centers for exhibiting Chicano art and generating interest among its intended audience. A significant portion of the interview is dedicated to a discussion of the first Day of the Dead [All Souls’ Day] exhibition held at the Galeria de la Raza in 1972. Yañez notes the attraction this show had for Chicano artists due to its cultural resonance and the opportunity it presented to work with innovative and varied media. Yañez points out the importance of alternative spaces such as the Galeria, Mission Cultural Center, and The Mexican Museum in educating and reaching the working class audience and beyond.
Ralph Maradiaga (1934–85) was an artist, filmmaker, and co-director of the Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco. This interview with San Francisco artist, curator, and activist, Yanez, was conducted for the catalogue accompanying the 1977 group exhibition, The Fifth Sun, guest-curated by Maradiaga and held at the University Art Museum on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Unique to this catalogue are the interviews Maradiaga conducted with artists participating in the show. This format not only provides a comprehensive understanding of Yañez’s multimedia art, its aesthetic innovations, and his impact on Chicano art specifically, but also documents, in general, an important period of Chicano/Latino art in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late-1970s when it was at its height of artistic activism, public support, and involvement in a number of art organizations. Equally important, the exhibition was also one of the first regional exhibitions curated by a Chicano at a major mainstream museum.