Samuel Baray

Advenimiento de Primavera The Coming of Spring From September to December of 1989 Samuel Baray worked on sketches for a suite of prints representing the seasons of the year, i.e., Fall, Spring, Winter and Summer. Karen Boccalero, founder and director of Self Help Graphics*, saw the sketches and encouraged Baray to participate in the upcoming screen print atelier program. Ultimately two limited edition prints were produced at SHG: Harvest (Fall) and Advenimiento de Primavera (Spring)

The Primavera/Spring print clearly shows Baray’s preference for serigraph printing over other print medias. His preference is due to the fact that serigraph, like painting, keeps the color on the surface; in contract to press printing, which “pushes” the color beneath the surface. He feels a serigraph thus allows for greater color range and depth.

Working at Self Help Graphics afforded the artist the use of a professional serigraph studio and a master printer. This allowed Baray to increase the size of the image; thus, giving his image an almost architectural scale. The use of greenery in the image is riverlike and gives the illusion the Lady of Spring is floating, or better yet, rising upward.

Baray continues to work in serigraph, but in his most recent work, he has synthesized the mechanics of serigraph with the more fluid mediums of painting, pastel and watercolor.

*Self Help Graphics, located in East Los Angeles, has served as a creative center promoting Chicano art since 1972. Sister Karen Boccalero OSF, founded SHG to support printmaking as well a other forms of art through workshops, exhibitions and cultural activities.

Guardia Del Barrio Barrio Guardian Angel Samuel Baray’s commitment to limited edition prints has made his work available to people who might otherwise not be able to afford an original work of art. Many of his prints have come instant favorite in the Chicano community in which he works, eg, Virgen, Avrora-El Primer Milagro Del Dia, Harvest, and most recently Queen of Angels which was given a special reception at the Latino Committee of the Democratic Convention 2000. Guardia Del Barrio is most certainly in this category of favorites. To help support Self Help Graphics, Baray donated approximately twenty-five prints to their annual print sale. Guardia Del Barrio sold out within an hour!

Gardia is a multi-layered colored serigraph whose image was inspired by the youth of East Los Angeles. E.L. A. is a neighborhood that has served as a womb, a cradle, and a visual treasure chest in the development of many Chicano artists. It is colorful, handmade, outrageous, ugly, beautiful, and full of wonder.

The youthful guardian angel oversees all of the above. She reigns supreme under the protection of Quetzal coatl the bird-serpent, Mixcoatl the nomadic warrior who led the first chichimecs (Mexicanos) into the central plateau of Mexico, and by Tlaloc the ancient water god of mesoamerica.

The youthful angel looks down at her domain and with her hands she make the sign of the pyramid, as any chicana/youth might, to claim she is indigenous, and that she is proud.