Galería de la Raza

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Galería de la Raza, January 1, 2007

Galería de la Raza (GDLR) is a non-profit art gallery and artist collective that serves the heavily Latino population of San Francisco's Mission District. GDLR mounts exhibitions, hosts poetry readings, workshops, and celebrations, sells works of art, and sponsors youth and artist-in-residence programs. Exhibitions mounted at the Galería tend to feature the work of minority and developing country artists and concern issues of ethnic history, identity, and social justice.


The Galería was founded by Chicano Movement artists Ralph Maradiaga, Rupert García, Peter Rodriguez, Francisco X. Camplis, Gustavo Ramos Rivera, Carlos Loarca, Manuel Villamor, Robert Gonzalez, Luis Cervantes, Chuy Campusano, Rolando Castellón, and René Yañez in 1970 as a place for Mexican American and other Latino artists to show their work. It developed into a community arts center that painted many murals, sponsored youth programs, and gained national and international recognition for its commitment to serving underrepresented communities.

In the mid-nineties the ReGeneration Project was started to facilitate the involvement of the next generation of artists. ReGeneration provides emerging artists with exhibition and professional development opportunities as well as opportunity to help plan and manage of Galería activities. One of the most visible contributions of the ReGeneration Project is the updating of the temporary murals on the Bryant Street billboard. Through the new Digital Mural Project computer-generated images are created and displayed in lieu of the traditional painted murals.

Programs and exhibitions[edit]

Throughout its history, GDLR has given workshops in filmmaking, animation, muralism, digital art, and sponsored artists-in-residence. Important exhibitions have included "Cartelones del Cine Mexicano", which exposed Chicano artists to the styles and techniques of Mexican commercial lithographers, "The Peter Rodriguez Collection of Santos from the Mexican Museum", an exhibition of early New Mexican santos, and "Low 'n Slow", a lowrider-themed exhibit.

GDLR was also instrumental in reviving the indigenous Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead in the San Francisco Bay Area and in popularizing the work of the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and José Guadalupe Posada among movement activists.

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