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    The artists and their work - The role of the chicana artist / Sybil Venegas

    Chismearte : A Quarterly Publicación of the Concilio de Arte Popular (Los Angeles, CA). --Vol 1. no. 4. (Fall/Winter 1977-78)

    p. 3, 5 : ill.
    Journal article – Essays
    Venegas, Sybil. "The artists and their work - The role of the chicana artist." In Chismearte: A Quaterly Publication of the Concilio de Arte Popular (Los Angeles, CA), vol. 1, no. 4 (Fall/ Winter 1977- 78): 3, 5.
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In this essay, art historian Sybil Venegas examines the role of the Chicana artist in the creation of Chicana identity, as well as its general influence on the identity of the Chicano community. She focuses her study on the Chicana artists active in California, mainly in San Francisco, San José, and Los Angeles. The first part of her essay examines the work of the Mujeres Muralistas (based in San Francisco) and the general trend of Chicana themes in mural art, such as nature, animals, and plants. In the second half of her essay—which focuses on the work of Ester Hernandez (San Francisco), Etta Delgado (San José), and Barbara Carrasco (Los Angeles)—Venegas considers media other than murals and themes in order to extend beyond nature. According to her, Hernandez, Delgado, and Carrasco each of them work in various media and challenge the traditional role of the female in society through their art.  


This essay by Sybil Venegas was published together with another essay, “Conditions for Producing Chicana Art” in a special “La Mujer” (Women’s) issue of the journal, Chismearte. The journal was a quarterly publication of the Concilio de Arte Popular, a statewide coalition of Chicano cultural centers based in Los Angeles. This essay serves as a good introduction to Chicana art in California during the late-1970s, with its inclusion of a collective approach (Mujeres Muralistas) as well as individual artistic efforts. Venegas is one of a few art historians, if not the first, to historicize Chicana art, and as one of the few women in this field, she was in a unique position to dispel some of the prevalent gender stereotypes and put Chicana art on an equal footing with the artistic mainstream. 

Tere Romo
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA
Reproduced with permission of the private archives of Sybil Venegas, Los Angeles, CA.
Courtesy of the private archives of Victor M. Valle, Professor of Ethnic Studies CalPoly, San Luis Obispo, CA