Tumi's Designers chosen for prestigious Political Graphics Award

by Favianna Rodriguez


Monday August 1, 2005

This October, Favianna Rodriguez and Jesus Barraza, will receive an award from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) for the outstanding work they have done with the Taller Tupac Amaru. The Taller Tupac Amaru was founded in 2003 by Favianna and Jesus. Thanks to support from the City of Oakland Cultural Arts Department and Tumis, the Taller was able to obtain the necessary equipment, including an exposure unit, a large sink, ink and paper, and launch their screenprinting operation. The mission of the Taller Tupac Amaru is to produce and distribute screenprinted political posters and to foster a resurgence in the screenprinting medium. Both Jesus and Favianna were trained by printmaking masters in California, including Jose Alpuche from Self Help Graphics (Los Angeles) and Juan Fuentes from the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (San Francisco). In the past 2 years, the Taller Tupac Amaru has printed over 30 posters for community grassroots organizations throughout California. Their political posters address themes of education, incarceration, globalization, femicide, media justice, neo-colonialism, self-determination, and third world unity. Their posters have been distributed to the international community at gatherings such as the Free Press Conference, the World Social Forum, and the National Political Hip Hop Convention. In April of 2005, the Taller traveled to Mexico City to teach a political poster workshop with young Mexican artists. There they co-established a Mexico based affilitate, the Taller Xolotl.

The relationship between the Taller Tupac Amaru and CSPG goes back many years. In 1998, Favianna was an intern for CSPG, where she first became inspired to become a political poster artist. Since 2000, Favianna and Jesus have been actively donating posters to the CSPG archive, one of the largest political poster archives in the world. Likewise, CSPG houses the official Taller Tupac Amaru collection. In fall of 2004, the Taller collaborated with political artists Malaquias Montoya, Emory Douglas, and Barbara Carrasco to produce a portfolio for CSPG. Jesus handprinted the posters for these three nationally-recognized political artists.

CSPG is an educational and research archive that collects, preserves, documents, and circulates domestic and international political posters relating to historical and contemporary movements for social change. With more than 50,000 domestic and international graphics, CSPG has the largest collection of Post-World War II political graphics in the country. Through traveling and online exhibitions, presentations, and publications, CSPG is reclaiming the power of art to inspire people to action.

Each year CSPG acknowledges outstanding artists and activists. This year they will be honoring:
- Community leaders and activists Marge Tabankin & Earl Katz with the Culture of Liberation Award
- Center for Cuban Studies and its executive Director Sandra Levinson with
the Historian of the Lions Award
- Taller Tupac Amaru and its founders with the Art as a Hammer Award.

This award is a prestigious honor for the Tumis/Taller Tupac Amaru family. Previous awardees include:

  • Barbara Carrasco, Chicana Artist & former UFW Muralist
  • Lalo Alcaraz, Cartoonist and author of La Cucaracha
  • Guerrilla Girls, Feminist Artists
  • Rupert Garcia, Chicano Artist that influenced much of our work
  • Robbie Conal, Poster Artist
  • Carlos Cortéz, Chicano Artist from Chicago and one of Favianna's mentors
  • Malaquías Montoya, Chicano Artist credited as the father of Social Serigraphy

You can congratulate Favianna and Jesus by supporting CSPG in this large event. To purchase an ad for the Program Booklet, contact Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG), 8124 W. Third St., Los Angeles, CA 90048-4309, Phone 323.653.4662