Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Poster of the Week

The Silver Dollar (Rubén Salazar)
Rupert García
Silkscreen, 1990
Berkeley, California
The Chicano Moratorium, formally known as the National Chicano Moratorium Committee, was a movement of Chicano anti-war activists that built a broad-based but fragile coalition of Mexican-American groups to organize opposition to the Viet Nam War. Led by activists from local colleges and members of the "Brown Berets", a group with roots in the high school student movement that staged walkouts in 1968, the coalition peaked with an August 29, 1970 march in East Los Angeles that drew an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 demonstrators.
Rubén Salazar was a well-known writer and journalist for KMEX-TV and the Los Angeles Times. After covering the Chicano moratorium march on August 29, Salazar and two friends stopped for a beer at the Silver Dollar Bar near Laguna Park. Police surrounded the place, allegedly looking for a man with a rifle, who had actually been caught hours before. Police threw a ten-inch tear-gas projectile into the bar attempting to make the occupants leave. The missile hit Salazar and killed him.
40 years later there are still many unanswered questions surrounding his death. Before dying Salazar had been working on a story that highlighted how local government seemed intent on ignoring all the complaints and violations involving police encounters with Mexican-Americans. No one was ever tried for his death, even though police admitted the tear-gas should not have been used in the incident.
In March 2010, the Los Angeles Times filed a California Public Records Act request for records of the shooting. On August 9, 2010, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca refused to release eight boxes of records regarding Salazar’s death. Three days later, in response to pressure from Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and other county supervisor board members, Baca agreed to reconsider his position. At the time of this posting, no records have been released.
About the Artist: After serving in the Viet Nam War, Rupert Garcia became fully involved in the Chicano and other civil rights movements. He studied painting and printmaking at San Francisco State University, earning a B.A. (1968) and an M.A. (1970), and a second M.A. in the history of art from the University of California, Berkeley (1981). He produced silkscreen posters for the 1968 San Francisco State student strike and for the 1970 Chicano Moratorium. Garcia became an influential force as a silkscreen print and poster artist, combining contemporary art forms, the aesthetics and images from the mass media and consumer culture with an expression of social conscience. In 2000, he received the “Art is a Hammer Award” from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Poster of the Week

CSPG’s poster of the week commemorates Lolita Lebrón who died August 1, 2010 at age 90.

Lolita Lebrón ¡Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!
Linda Lucero
La Raza Silkscreen Center
Silkscreen, 1977
San Francisco, California

Todos Somos Pequeños, Solo La Patría Es Grande Y Está Encarcelada
¡Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre!

All of us are all small, Only the Mother country is great and it is imprisoned!
Long Live Free Puerto Rico!

Lolita Lebrón (Dolores "Lolita" Lebrón Sotomayor) was an active and passionate advocate for Puerto Rican independence. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she joined the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party after moving to New York City in 1941. Within the organization she promoted ideals based on socialist and feminist principles.

In 1954, Lebrón and three other Puerto Rican nationalists entered the visitors’ gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives, unfurled Puerto Rico’s flag, shouted “Free Puerto Rico!” and shot pistols wounding five congressmen. She proclaimed that, "I did not come here to kill. I came here to die," and carried a note in her purse that explained their action:

Before God and the world, my blood claims for the independence of Puerto Rico. My life I give for the freedom of my country. This is a cry for victory in our struggle for independence which for more than half a century has tried to conquer the land that belongs to Puerto Rico.

I state forever that the United States of America are betraying the sacred principles of mankind in their continuous subjugation of my country, violating their rights to be a free nation and a free people, in their barbarous torture of our apostle of independence, Don Pedro Albizu Campos.

The four were sentenced to life in prison, and spent 25 years before being pardoned by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. After her release, Lebrón returned to Puerto Rico and became president of the Nationalist Party. She remained active the rest of her life.

In 2001, at age 81, Lebrón was arrested for protesting the bombing of the island of Vieques by the U.S. Navy. Puerto Rico, one of the last remaining colonies in the world, endured almost 60 years of U.S. aerial target practice and war games, including dropping napalm and depleted uranium shells on Vieques. The cancer rate in Vieques is 26% higher than the Puerto Rican average. The U.S. navy stopped bombing Vieques in 2003.

About the Artist:

During a trip to Cuba in 1974, Linda Lucero met many Puerto Ricans from New York, and was profoundly moved by their efforts for self-determination. Lucero also felt that there were many posters of heroic men, but not enough about heroic women. Upon returning to La Raza Graphics Center in San Francisco, Lucero produced a poster featuring Lolita Lebrón. Lucero produced a second poster featuring Lebrón in 1977, and it was reissued a year later. This is the poster featured here.

At a time when growing numbers of U.S. activists identified with and supported many liberation movements, Lebrón epitomized national liberation struggles, women’s struggles, and the struggles of a Spanish-speaking people under U.S. domination. Lucero’s posters were part of a growing movement within the United States and in Puerto Rico which demanded the Puerto Rican nationalists' freedom.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Poster of the Week


U. G. Sato

Silkscreen, 1995

Tokyo, Japan

Produced for the 1995 JAGDA Peace and Environment Poster Exhibition

The Nuclear Age began 65 years ago this month, during World War II, when President Harry S. Truman ordered nuclear bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On Monday, August 6, 1945, "Little Boy", the world's first nuclear bomb, was dropped over the central part of Hiroshima, Japan. The uranium-based detonation exploded about two thousand feet above the city with a blast equivalent to 13 thousand tons of TNT. On Thursday, August 9, “Fat Man,” a plutonium bomb, was detonated over Nagasaki. These two events are the only active deployments of nuclear weapons in a war. Within the first two to four months of the bombings, the acute effects killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day. In both cities, most of the dead were civilians

The poster of the week was produced for the 50th anniversary of the bombing. It was made for a poster exhibition sponsored by the Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA). The JAGDA Peace Poster Exhibition was inaugurated in 1983 as a way of promoting peace through the medium of the poster. Since then it has continued, both in Japan and overseas, to hold exhibitions of posters with a message created by association members under themes including peace, the environment, World Heritage and Japan.

The featured poster text says, "I'm here." The ruined building was the closest building to ground zero—only a few meters away—to remain standing following the bombing. Designed by the Czech architect Jan Letzel in 1916, it was the city's Industrial Promotion Hall. In 1966 it was made a UNESCO World Heritage site over the objections of the U.S. and China. It is known by several names: the Hiroshima Dome, A-Bomb Dome, or Hiroshima Peace Memorial.

Featured Artist: U. G. Sato
was born in Tokyo in 1935. After graduating from Kuwasawa Design School in 1960, he established Design Farm in 1975. His works have been exhibited worldwide, including group shows and several solo exhibitions. His first U.S. exhibition took place in 2002, when the Center for the Study of Political Graphics produced, East West Graphics of Resistance--Posters of U.G. Sato (Japan) and Lex Drewinsky (Germany) at the Art Galleries of California State University, Northridge. This award winning artist has also initiated emergency Fax-Art campaigns. In 1995 he organized an anti-nuclear poster fax campaign in Paris and Tokyo to protest nuclear testing in the Pacific by France. In response to the United States military action against Iraq in 2003, he organized an anti-war poster fax campaign with Japanese artists.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Call for Political Art for "Critical Views 5: A New Generation"

Red Sun Press (Boston, Massachusetts) is accepting submissions to a juried show in conjunction with Jamaica Plain Open Studios, September 25-26, 2010. This show will highlight emerging artists illustrating contemporary struggles for social justice, the environment, and economic & political change.

How to enter:

Each artist may submit up to 5 digital images. Digital images should be JPEG files, under 5MB and emailed to Matt Osborn at

Required Documentation:

• A brief artist statement explaining how the work is political

• A list of digital images submitted. For each image listed give title, medium and size of work.

Maximum size of original artwork cannot exceed 3’ in any direction.

The artist’s name and address should appear on the page

Deadline for submissions: August 31, 2010

Red Sun Press will print a poster featuring the Best of Show artwork for distribution at the show.

Contact Matt Osborn at 617-524-6822 x31


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Poster of the Week

1982 Gay Olympic Games (original and censored versions)
Rob Anderson
Silkscreen, 1982
San Francisco, California

On Wednesday, August 4, 2010, Federal Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that California’s 2008 Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage, was “unconstitutional.” Many Proposition 8 supporters have criticized the judge’s ruling as biased because he is openly gay. Yet this George H.W. Bush appointee had been criticized by the LGBTQ community for a 1982 case where he represented the U.S. Olympic Committee against the Gay Olympic Games.

Judge Walker’s role in this 1982 lawsuit so angered the LGBTQ community and their supporters that two dozen House Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, opposed his nomination by President Ronald Reagan to the Federal Court in 1987. He was nominated again by President George H. W. Bush in 1989, and confirmed.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week graphically shows the impact of the 1982 Gay Olympic Games decision. The Gay Games is the world’s largest sporting and cultural event organized by and specifically for LGBTQ athletes, artists, musicians, and others. It welcomes participants of every sexual orientation and every skill level. Originally called the Gay Olympic Games, it was launched in San Francisco in 1982.

Less than three weeks before the inaugural Gay Olympic Games, event organizers were sued by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) which claimed that the USOC had exclusive rights to the word Olympic in the United States. Defendants in the lawsuit contended that the law was capriciously applied and that if the Nebraska Rat Olympics and the Police Olympics did not face similar lawsuits, neither should the Gay Olympics. Many believed that homophobia was a motivation behind the lawsuit.

The ruling blocking the use of the name "Olympic" came down about a week after Rob Anderson had delivered the first batch of posters to the Gay Olympic Games Committee headquarters. It was a hand-screened run of 1,000. As they were only done in small batches, not that many had the word “Olympic” blacked out, probably less than 20. Since the Committee could no longer sell them in their original state, the posters went "underground" and the uncensored prints were sold to frame shops in the Castro. Both the original and censored versions are shown here.

The censored “Gay Games” poster is included in “Out of the Closet & Into the Street—Posters of LGBTQ Struggles & Celebrations” currently on display at the One Archives Gallery & Museum through September 26, 2010

626 N. Robertson Blvd.

West Hollywood, CA 90069

(entrance on El Tovar)

Gallery Hours:

Friday: 4:30-8:30

Saturday & Sunday: 1-5