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This document is the program brochure for the 1979 Conferencia Plástica Chicana [Chicano Visual Arts Conference], which consists of an introduction, schedule, the presenters, listings, and credits. In the brief, bilingual introduction, the organizers opened up the proceedings with a poem in Náhuatl (the language of the Aztecs still spoken by indigenous peoples of central Mexico), translated first into Spanish and then into English. The essay that follows the poem describes the need for Chicano artists to resist the “annihilation of our culture” and the importance of the conference to Chicano artists: to learn from their Mexican and Latino counterparts while at the same time proudly sharing their Chicano culture. The major portion of the program brochure consists of the list of daily sessions, which began on September 13, 1979, and continued through the 16th of the same month.
The Conferencia Plástica Chicana was one of the most important binational, bilingual conferences on Chicano art. The conference brochure documents this ambitious and unique gathering, which was organized by a committee and was under the auspices of the Mujeres Artistas del Suroeste (MAS) at the Centro Cultural de LUChA, in Austin, Texas. Historically significant, it was the first forum for Mexican and Chicano artists and scholars to interact and exchange information regarding art history of that field, practice, and cultural influences. Though primarily focused on the visual arts, the conference included a theatrical presentation, film screenings, and sessions on solidarity with both the Cuban and Nicaraguan revolutions. The visual arts sessions incorporated a wide range of media: painting, sculpture, printmaking, and photography. The sessions were expansive in their historical scope (from Pre-Columbian through Contemporary art), and was especially impressive in the caliber of presenters, which included Mexico’s Raquel Tibol, Marcia Castro Leal, Pedro Meyer, and Adolfo Mexiac, as well as Pedro Rodriguez, Luis Jimenez, Shifra M. Goldman, Carmen Lomas Garza, and Roberto Duncan from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) representing the United States.