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FRESNO– Caminos Exhibition at Arte Américas
March 3 @ 8:00 am – August 31 @ 5:00 pmFree
March 3 – June 30, 2019
1630 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721
Arte Américas returns with its first exhibit of 2019, CAMINOS (translated as roads or paths). The exhibit presents the history of the Central Valley’s Latino community, told as a journey. The exhibit is comprised of various forms based on interviews, photographs, posters, and maps—many from community participants. The story is pieced together against a historical framework developed by a team of researchers, community scholars and student interns, led by historian Dr. Alex Saragoza, professor emeritus at UC Berkeley, and a native of Madera, California. CAMINOS follows the paths that brought people to the valley, primarily from Mexico, and their diverse experiences over time and generations.
The narrative takes into consideration international, national, and local events and their impacts on the formation of the Latino community. For example, the exhibit underscores the ways in which anti-immigrant legislation against the Chinese, Japanese, and southern and eastern Europeans contributed importantly toward the recruitment of Mexican farm labor as agricultural production increased at the turn of the twentieth century, especially during WWI and the boom that followed through most of the 1920s. As a result, many Mexicans settled in the valley, establishing a network that would facilitate further migration from their erstwhile homeland.
The exhibit begins in 1772 with the first Spanish explorations through the valley and then turns toward the Mexican (1821-1848) and Early American (1848-1900) periods that witnessed the economic transformation of the valley and attracted so many groups from the eastern and southern parts of the U.S. as well as immigrants from Asia, Europe, and eventually from Mexico in particular. Subsequently, in a series of chronologically arranged intervals, the exhibit takes the story to the present.
The narrative highlights the development of a community bound by language and culture whose integration—however fitful and uneven—has enriched valley life. The story is one of change, resilience, and resistance, from the struggles of the Great Depression years and the civil rights era to the achievements of Latina entrepreneurs and the brave service of Latino soldiers.
Some information may be scarcely known facts, such as the “Fiesta” put on by the KKK in the 1920s at the Fresno Fair grounds, while in the same year the Mexican community celebrated their own “Fiestas Patrias.” Or that in 1960 only about a dozen Mexican origin students graduated from Fresno State College, but by 2018 over a thousand received degrees at Chicano Commencement at CSUF.
This is Arte Américas’ first foray into historical representation, still utilizing the creativity of its artistic community to tell the story. The project began with an initial seed grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and then matched with a grant from the California Council for the Humanities. A team gathered from scholars, college interns and volunteers took on the project throughout 2018 with the indispensable aid from librarians and museum curators from Madera, Fresno and Tulare counties. California State University, Fresno, and the State Center Community College District came on board with sponsorships and student assistance. Additional organizations, businesses and individuals also are contributing to the realization of the project. The exhibit represents an initial phase of a larger collection documenting the community’s history, the culmination of the collective work to date.
Arte Américas opens its center again for the CAMINOS exhibit on Sunday, March 3, through June 30, 2019.
Regular hours are 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Thursdays through Saturdays and 1:00 – 5:00 pm on Sundays (with Guided Tours from 1:00 – 2:00 pm on Sundays)
Admission is free with the support of our sponsors, though donations are welcome to support programming related to the exhibit. Fee-supported guided tours are available. In addition to regular hours, Arte Américas will be presenting weekly Sunday programs of discussions and films beginning March 17 and continuing throughout the run of the exhibit.
Additional Public Programming includes:
Check https://www.facebook.com/arteamericas/ for time and locations.
March 24, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Dr. Alex Saragoza Plática: SPANISH AND MEXICAN PERIODS 1772-1848
This lecture will explain why Spain was so weak and Mexico so vulnerable to US Expansionism.
March 31(Cesar Chavez Day) 2:00 – 4:00 pm
EL MOVIMIENTO 1960s-1970, Panel discussion led by Dr. Lea Ybarra
April 7, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Dr. Alex Saragoza Plática: EL CAMINO AL NORTE 1900-1930S
Immigration acts and factors that shaped Mexican migration northward
April 14, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
VIDA EN EL VALLE
Journalists discuss the last decades
April 21 (Easter Sunday)
Exhibit open for viewing
April 28, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Dr. Alex Saragoza Plática: SEEDS OF CHANGE
Wartimes, West Side and the Bracero Program
May 5, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
CAMINOS IN MUSIC
Featuring Carmencristina Moreno
May 10, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
ADIOS AMOR: THE SEARCH FOR MARIA MORENO documentary screening at Cal State Fresno
Annual Mother’s Day Event in the Plaza
Exhibit open for viewing
May 19, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Dr. Alex Saragoza Plática: HARD WON PROGRESS
Crisis in Mexico and backlash in the U.S.
This exhibition is supported by California Humanities through an Humanities for All Project Grant.