Chicano 15: Celebrating Fifteen Years of the Serie Project
In 1991, Austin-artist Sam Coronado participated in the Atelier artist-residency program at Self-Help Graphics, a nationally-recognized center for Latino arts dedicated for nurturing printmakers and promoting cultural awareness located in Los Angeles. As a result of this experience, Coronado founded the Serie Print Project modeled after the Atelier artist-residency at Self-Help Graphics in 1993. Since its inception 15 to 18 artists are annually invited through a referral and juror system to participate in the Serie Project. Selected participants then come to Coronado Studio to learn the basic process of fine art printmaking and to create an original serigraph print with the aid and collaboration of a provided Master Printer free of charge.
The produced serigraph prints from the Serie Project have gained the attention and support of multiple museums such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Austin Museum of Art, and the Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University. Selected prints have been featured in the PBS Series “Art Journeys” and in the art publications Triumph of Our Communities, Chicano Art for our Millennium, and Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art. Moreover, National contemporary art exhibitions such as Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement have included work from past Serie artists. Although Serie Project emerged from very modest beginnings it has successfully held over 250 artists-in –residency programs and continues to nurture emerging and established artists. Serie Project is one of the few Latino arts organizations that continually influence the contemporary art world; for example, professional Chicano/Latino artists such as Malaquias Montoya, Alma Lopez, Vincent Valdez, Ester Hernandez, Delilah Montoya, Santa Barraza, Alex Rubio, and Gaspar Enriquez have previously collaborated with the Serie Project. The unprecedented nature of such a Latino Arts organization in Texas makes the Serie Project extremely unique. Serie Project is one of very few Latino-owned print studios that aim to increase diversity and awareness of multi-cultural artists with 2/3 of all Serie Project artists of Latino or Latin American descent.
The objective of the Serie Project is for the artists to not only develop a new artistic technique, but to provide an avenue of expression not readily available for Chicano/Latino artists. As we reflect on the past productions of the Serie Project and its accomplishments we must remember that the campaign for Chicano/Latino art visibility and awareness is still ongoing, and Serie Project represents this continued need for a Chicano/Latino presence that will persist to fight for a position in the art world. Throughout its sixteen-year duration Serie Project has helped facilitate each of its selected artists to create their own original serigraph print and individual artistic vision and hopefully Serie will be able to continue this tradition for the next generation of artists.