of the Project
The Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe designed this project to take advantage of both traditional art book and encyclopedia production and the current state of advanced technology, particularly as it applies to the Internet. Accordingly, Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art: Artists, Works, Culture, and Education is both a multivolume work and an electronic project.
The current publication consists of two volumes of what is planned to be a four-volume work. These two volumes consist of 194 separate artist profiles, presented in alphabetical order. For each artist profile, biographical, exhibit, professional, and general information is provided to situate that artist, or those artists in the case of collaborations, within Chicana and Chicano art. In addition, we provide a photograph of the artist, a signature as used in artistic contexts, and reproduction of two works of art, each briefly interpreted. All art images have been reproduced in full color. Images that appear in black and white, sepia, or the like reflect the original work. We also have provided the artist’s date and place of birth, a general statement by the artist, and excerpts of commentary or reviews from published articles or exhibition catalogs, when suitable material was available. Any variations that appear in this pattern reflect our inability to obtain the relevant information from the artist or a lack of published material to excerpt.
In addition, a considerable number of art images have been presented at the beginning and end of each volume, at intervals within the volumes, or grouped thematically. Themes, which are specified in the table of contents, include community life; important elements in the social, religious, family, and kinship structure or makeup of Chicanismo; the view of the border; amusements, entertainment, and diversions; and other topics. A complete index of all artists covered appears at the end of each volume to assist with identification of the complete list of images included for a particular artist. There are several artists for whom we have reproduced images but for whom we do not provide artist profiles; these names appear in the index of artists as well.
One of our objectives in the planning of a four-volume series and in publishing the first two volumes with 194 artist entries was to provide a fertile resource base upon which art research, interpretation, and criticism could be generated subsequent to the publication of the first volumes. Volumes 3 and 4 have been planned to include coverage of community arts organizations that have been instrumental in the creation of Chicana and Chicano art as well as essays and articles of research, analysis, history, and criticism. In order to compile volumes 3 and 4, the Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe has submitted requests for participation to art historians and other scholars and to community organizations. Invitations to participate, together with application deadlines, have been posted on the project Web site.
The Electronic Component
This project was conceived to make creative and valuable use of the Internet. We have dedicated certain parts of the book to the project Web site (http://www.latinoartcommunity.org), one of which is the bibliography. The advantages of having the bibliography on the Internet are multifold: the volumes themselves are devoted exclusively to art and artists, while the bibliographic entries will continue to expand as material is published, rather than having a cut-off date approximately a year before the book actually appears. In addition, using the Internet will facilitate all sorts of search-and-identify procedures that take advantage of its advanced technology.
The Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art: Artists, Works, Culture, and Education Web site component goes far beyond the inclusion of the bibliography. We have established numerous innovations that make this project unique and that extend its ability to grow and replenish itself far into the future. There is a place on the Web site dedicated to each of the artists included in the book. There the viewer will find expanded general artist statements and/or statements about specific works. At the discretion of the artist, additional material and information can be accessed: for example, the artist’s own Web site can be linked to the project site; additional works of art can be viewed, including works that were created after publication of the book; and updated information about exhibitions of the artist can be provided as well as reviews or articles about his or her work. The Web site also includes an open forum where artists, researchers, teachers, students, and the general public can communicate with each other and with us. Finally, the Web site includes a place where corrections can be made to any errors in the book and where additions will be entered that enhance existing information.
Editorial Features of the Book
Because this project has been prepared for both a national and international readership, we have edited these volumes with attention to language usage that will be accessible to the general reader. Where Spanish is used, we have adhered to standard spelling and capitalization conventions in most cases while including many phrases belonging to the varieties of Chicano/a Spanish. An exception is the use of nonstandard spelling for rasquache and rasquachismo, which has become widely accepted in Chicano Spanish. A glossary of Spanish words and phrases can be found on the Web site.
Artists’ names include appropriate diacritical marks unless the artist has specifically requested otherwise. Alphabetization of artist entries generally follows standard Spanish practice (i.e., alphabetizing by the first surname), except in those cases where the artist is more commonly known or referred to by the second surname. Titles of the artworks are in bilingual format only in cases where the artist provided them that way. Spanish titles are translated in the text of the artist profile or, in the case of the full-page pieces, in the glossary.
Credits for photographs of artists and works and acknowledgment of collections and galleries accompany the individual pieces with the exception of those taken by the photographers acknowledged on the title page and those provided by the artists with no credits. Dimensions of the artworks were provided in most cases by the artist. The initials that follow each artist’s profile refer to one of the principal authors or contributors listed on the title page.
The Collection of Original Art at the Hispanic Research Center
In the March 2000 request for participation that was sent by the Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe to numerous artists and organizations, the director of the Hispanic Research Center, Gary D. Keller, stated that $10,000 had been set aside for the purchase of a small number of pieces of original art selected from the set of images that were submitted to us for the purpose of reproduction. The Web site contains a list of the work purchased by the Hispanic Research Center. In addition, the Bilingual Press has commissioned a total of eight original lithographs, seven of which have been completed and which are for sale. We anticipate the commissioning of two or three multioriginal works of art on a yearly basis over the long term.
Additional Projects Related to Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art
In spring 2002 the Hispanic Research Center received a small grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to create an Internet-based creative exchange portal for communication among Latina/o visual artists, art organizations, and others committed to Latina/o visual art both in the United States and internationally. This project will also facilitate sales by individual artists, enhance the market for Latina/o visual art, and encourage greater recognition by collectors and the general public through education and outreach activities. This component of the project serves Latinas and Latinos of all backgrounds and nationalities as well as non-Latino artists who work with Latino themes. See the Web site given below for additional information.
In May 2002 the project began a new component: digital videotaping of interviews with Chicana and Chicano artists. We envision creating one or more DVDs, possibly supplemented by material on our Web site, that will provide additional, visually enriched information about project artists and their work. More details about this activity are found on the Web site.
Web Site for the Project
The Web site for Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art: Artists, Works, Culture, and Education is http://www.latinoartcommunity.org.