'A la Frontera de Aztlán' is a colorful serigraph by Tony Ortega, 1995
'A la Frontera de Aztlán' serigraph by Tony Ortega, 1995. Credit: Tony Ortega

An exhibit of groundbreaking prints dating back to the inception of California’s Chicano Civil Rights Movement is on display at UC Santa Barbara Library through June 21.

“Cultura Cura: 50 Years of Self Help Graphics in East LA,” highlights the library’s Special Research Collections extensive archive of art, records and related ephemera from Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG), an intergenerational Los Angeles-based nonprofit that has been facilitating and promoting printmaking and other art media by Chicano/a, Latinx and other BIPOC artists since 1970.

SHG was founded by artists Carlos Bueno, Antonio Ibañez, Frank Hernandez and Sister Karen Boccalero.

“The Self Help Graphics & Art archives were first established at UCSB Library in 1986, making it one of the founding collections for the California Ethnic & Multicultural Archives (CEMA),” said Angel Diaz, CEMA curator and interim director of Special Research Collections.

“Sister Boccalero recognized the importance of documenting and preserving the legacy of the community arts organization, and it remains one of our most requested archival collections,” Diaz said.

The SHG collection spans from 1960–2022, with the bulk of the material ranging from 1972-92, primarily silk screen prints and slides, as well as organizational records and photographs.

There will also be a Day of the Dead altar in the library’s Ethnic & Gender Studies Collection, on the second floor. The altar will be on display through Nov. 22.