What started out as a one-time venture in 1993 has grown into a ten-year journey. Sam Coronado initiated the Serie Project in 1993. It is modeled after Self-Help Graphics in Los Angeles, California, a 25-year-old community-based organization which works with 20-30 artists per year and whose prints have been exhibited nationally and internationally. It was through Sam Coronado’s participation in Self-Help Graphics’ Atelier print project that he was inspired to create a similar print studio in Austin, Texas. Sam Coronado began the first Serie Project (now Serie I) as a one-time endeavor, with local artist friends creating serigraph prints. From there it grew, and now the local project is a national one, drawing artists from throughout the United States. With the growth, Coronado Studio was able to move from a rented space to a permanent location in East Austin. With the increased recognition the Serie Project has received, increased funding is coming in from the City of Austin Cultural Contracts program, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

To date, over 120 artists have participated in the Serie program. It has gained the attention and support of museums such as the Art Institute of South Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas; the Austin Museum of Art in Austin, Texas; the McAllen International Museum in McAllen, Texas; the South Broadway Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico; the Guadalupe Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas; the Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona; and other venues around the United States and Texas. The Serie Project has received national recognition from its exposure in the PBS Series Art Journeys. In addition, several artists that have participated in Serie have been featured in the two-volume book by Gary Keller, Mary Erickson, Kaytie Johnson, and Joaquin Alvarado, Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art, published by Bilingual Press in 2002. Several of the artists’ serigraphs were reproduced in the volumes.

Each artist who participates in the Serie Project creates a print on a subject and in the style of his/her choosing. There is, therefore, a wide variety of concepts, images, and methods employed in prints produced through Serie. This allows the body of work to escape being described by any particular characterization, and thus avoid a viewer’s preconceived ideas of what Chicano or Latina art must be. It nevertheless is a reflection on the whole of Latina/o art in that the movement is increasingly becoming part of the mainstream, and less an ‘other’ in the history of art; it is more of a collectible commodity than before, and is being treated more seriously by those who appreciate art and by art patrons. The Serie Project brings the diversity of Latino art to the public, and displays obvious differences in content and expression from one artist to the next.

Although the works share little in common as far as subject matter and stylistic approach are concerned, they do have two things in common: all are produced at Coronado Studio, and nearly all (99%) are created with the artist’s having no prior experience in serigraph printing. The latter factor sets up a technical and mental challenge for the artists. The image they create using pencils, brushes, or charcoals must be must be adapted to ink, a screen, and a squeegee, and produced over the course of several hand-pulled color runs. Artists must therefore analyze their work differently from how they usually might in order to suit the serigraph technique. Part of the value of the Serie Project is in this art education, in its introducing a technique to artists that is almost always new to them, and in guiding them to view their work in a new way.