Chicano artists “paint their own reality” by promoting multiculturalism and healthy diversity.
Frida Kahlo once said, “I paint my own reality.” She was asserting that she painted her interpretation of what she saw around her. Today, Frida’s words have taken on a new meaning for a group of Chi-cano Artists who came together to produce a calendar that is a tribute to Chicano Art.
The Chicano Calendar ~ Año Tochtli 2006 project is led by Chicano artist, Ernest M. Saenz, who says that recent activities targeting Chicano Art in several communities inspired him to respond by initiating the development of the calendar and other artistic projects that proclaim and celebrate the value of Chicano Art and culture.
Saenz adds, “They are seizing and closing our cultural centers, invading our communities to demand that our monuments be taken down and insulting our culture. Chicanos are Americans; what makes us different from other Americans is our Chicano experience. To stop us from expressing that experience is to deny our contributions to the essence and substance of the American culture.”
The Chicano Calendar ~ Año Tochtli 2006 project is the response of Chicano artists who want to “paint their own reality” in the sense of nurturing our cultural expression and not letting it be diluted, nor extinguished, by those who fear multiculturalism and healthy diversity. The Chicano Calendar ~ Año Tochtli 2006 project is more than just a calendar; it’s a political statement that Chicano culture does not wither in the face of opposition, but flourishes and grows stronger and ever more determined to spread its messages of self-respect, joy, and cultural awareness.
Assisted by pioneering political cartoonist Serg Hernandez, Saenz brought together a diverse group of Chicano artists. The twelve artists represented in the calendar include some of our culture’s luminaries, and some of our young hands. You’ll immediately recognize a style here, a signature there, as you turn the pages.
The line up of artists includes Gilbert “Magu” Lujan, Lalo Alcaraz, Mark Vallen, Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin, Dolores Gonzalez Haro, Guillermo Bejarano, Domingo Rodriguez, Alexander Suriano, Linda Vallejo, RuthAnne Tarletz de Molina and writer Michael Sedano.
Online Chicano Art Gallery www.0101aztlan.net is featuring the Chicano Calendar ~ Año Tochtli 2006, as well as the creative output of a stellar group of Chicana and Chicano artists.