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Self Help Graphics & Art Selects Five Los Angeles Printmaking Ambassadors For An International Printmaking Exchange With Cuba

LOS ANGELES, CA — Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG), in partnership with the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) and the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, will send a team of five LA artists, this October, to the Taller Experimental de Gráfica (Cuba) for the first printmaking exchange of its kind.

The Richardson Center, which promotes diplomacy through alternative methods, has initiated and funded this historic cultural and artistic exchange project for SHG, the forty-plus year old arts institution serving the Latino community of Los Angeles. The selected artists will work at the Taller Experimental de Gráfica in La Habana, Cuba, each producing a fine art print in a limited edition of 30.

The following five Los Angeles artists (and an alternate) have been selected by SHG from a competitive, national pool of applicants, to participate in the printmaking exchange:

Margaret ‘Quica’ Alarcón works in mixed media, painting, drawing, papel picado and publishing. An artist and teacher, Margaret brings years of community activism experience through her art and her work with Mujeres de Maiz.  She holds a BFA in Illustration from the Art Center College of Design, an MED in Education from National University School of Education, and an MFA in Studio Arts from California State University, Los Angeles.  Margaret is “a committed artist and community cultural worker who has displayed enormous ability and agility in her range of skills as artist and advocate.”

Rogelio Gutierrez works primarily as a printmaker, having earned a BFA in Printmaking from California State University, Long Beach and an MFA in Visual Art and Public Life from Indiana University. As an Assistant Professor of Printmaking at Arizona State University, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, he has made valuable international connections, specifically with the Eje Grafico Contemporaneo, an artists’ collective based in Mexico City. Rogelio uses his art as “a catalyst for a larger conversation that necessitates community building alongside aesthetic prowess.”

Dalila Paola Mendez is a multidisciplinary artist who enjoys teaching everything–from photography to gardening–in the community. After earning her BA in International Relations from the University of Southern California, Dalila began working in the film and art industries, and through her artwork and community service has become a true arts activist in the Los Angeles area. Dalila has worked extensively with Self Help Graphics and is a true “asset to any collective art project” with her technical skill and dedication to social justice.

Delilah Montoya, whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, earned an MFA in Studio Art as well as an MA in Printmaking, both from the University of New Mexico. She is considered a leader and innovator in her medium, and has participated in printmaking workshops in Los Angeles, Austin, and Houston. Delilah continues to guide future generations of artists through her tenure as a professor of Photography/Digital Media at the University of Houston, with previous positions on the faculties at Smith College and Hampshire College.

Erin Miyo Stevens holds a BFA from California College of Arts and Crafts and an MFA in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts. She is well versed in a broad range of printmaking techniques and has experimented with combining photography processes with printmaking techniques in both the Western printmaking traditions and the Japanese Moku-Hanga style of printing. Erin “enjoys exploring the seemingly prosaic aspects of the community” in her work, hoping to “uncover narratives that reference the natural and social history” of Los Angeles.

Self Help Graphics & Art also announces Ernesto Yerena as an alternate artist for this year’s exchange. Ernesto has worked in printmaking for over 8 years, earning internships at Modern Multiples and OBEY where he worked under Richard Duardo and Shepard Fairey, respectively. A self-identified “artist of conscience,” Ernesto’s work focuses on the struggles of the working class. His work has been almost ubiquitous in the ongoing immigration reform movement that came to a head in 2009. Ernesto holds a BA in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of California in Los Angeles.

In early 2016, the second part of the exchange will take place as SHG hosts the following five Cuban artists: Yamylis Brito, Carlos del Toro, Dairén Fernández, Aliosky García and Octavio Irving. While in Los Angeles, each of the Cuban artists will produce a fine art print in a limited edition of 30, resulting in 30 portfolios with 10 prints in each – 5 from the LA artists and 5 from the Cuban artists. The Museum of Latin American Art will premiere the prints in an exclusive exhibition in early 2017.  Following MOLAA’s exhibition, Self Help Graphics will celebrate the collaboration by hosting a second exhibition of the portfolio and make the prints available for sale to benefit SHG and the Taller Experimental de Gráfica.

The Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) was founded in 1996 in Long Beach, California and serves the greater Los Angeles area. MOLAA is the only museum in the United States dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art. MOLAA expands knowledge and appreciation of modern and contemporary Latin American art through its collection, ground-breaking exhibitions, stimulating educational programs, and engaging cultural events. Visit their website >>

Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG), incorporated in 1973, is the leading non-profit visual arts center serving the predominantly Latino community of Los Angeles. Self Help Graphics’ mission is to drive the creation of new work by Chicano and Latino artists through fine art printmaking and multiple visual art forms. Visit their website >>

The Richardson Center for Global Engagement promotes global peace and dialogue by identifying and working on areas of opportunity for engagement and citizen diplomacy with countries and communities not usually open to more formal diplomatic channels.