Art by Alumni Juan Fuentes, Rupert Garcia, Carmen Lomas Garza Selected for Exhibition at Smithsonian

Monday, July 20, 2020
Carmen Lomas Garza's drawing La Curandera depicting five people in a home with two kneeling, one laying on a blanket, one sweeping and one standing up
“La Curandera” by Carmen Lomas Garza. Circa 1974. Hand-colored etching and aquatint on paper. Courtesy of Smithsonian Museum of Art.

EL TECOLOTE (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Juan Fuentes, 70, is a featured artist in the exhibition. Growing up in rural Watsonville, California, Fuentes and his 10 siblings worked in the farm labor camps picking produce. Like other Chicano artists, Fuentes’s art naturally gravitated toward the farm labor activism movement.

Attending San Francisco State University in the late ’60s, Fuentes was among the first wave of students to be exposed to ethnic and, as they were called in those days, third-world studies. He grew ties to the Mission District, which was a progressive environment for artists and activists.

Fuentes’ works have advocated social change for issues such as the labor movement, the Palestinian freedom struggle and Native American political prisoner injustice.