Who Sees The Art?
Students identify the intended viewers of visual materials found around
the school and neighborhood. The teacher shares information and leads a
discussion about the patrons and intended viewers of Chicana/o and earlier
prints. Students then consider the intended viewers of their own persuasion
or protest print and how they might alter their planning of the print in
order for it to be more effective for those viewers.
1. Students learn that an art patron is a person who supports the work
of an artist, for example by supplying their needs or commissioning or purchasing
2. Students learn that art patrons have traditionally been royal or aristocratic
families, religious or political leaders, or wealthy people.
3. Students learn that artists may have special viewers in mind as they
make their artworks.
4. Students learn that some Chicana/o and earlier artists have chosen
to make prints so that more people may have the opportunity to view their
Distribute to tables or pass around the class, several sample flyers,
announcements, and posters collected within the school and neighborhood,
for example, election posters, announcements of student events, or sales
and promotional flyers. Include hand-made work as well as photocopies and
commercially reproduced materials. As you bring students' attention to each
sample flyer, announcement, or poster ask:
Next, by turn, display the following five artworks. Click on the name
of any artwork for more detailed information.
||Viewer Lesson Index|
|Display the Viewer Icon. Explain that a patron is
an important viewer of an artwork. Define an art patron as a person who
supports the work of an artist, for example by supplying the artist's needs
or commissioning or purchasing their artwork. Explain further that some
artists may intend that their artwork be viewed by various people in the
community, not just by a patron. After identifying each work and giving
its present location, pose the following questions for discussion:
Explain that Chicana/o artists have sometimes disagreed about who should
be the viewers or patrons for their artworks. Some have argued that Chicana/o
art should be accessible to everyday Chicana/o people at a reasonable price.
Others say Chicana/o art should take its place in the fine art market with
any other artworks, its price dictated by collectors' and museums' interest.
A number of Chicana/o artists have chosen
to make editions of original prints. Original prints are not cheap, but
they are less expensive, as a rule, than one-of-a-kind paintings. Luis Jiménez,
and Eduardo Oropeza
are all Chicano artists who have chosen to make prints. Printmaking also
has a strong tradition in Mexico. José
Guadalupe Posada made prints for newspaper illustrations and broadsides
(a type of mass-produced flyer) in the first years of this century. The
Mexican government subsidized the work of Alfredo
Zalce at El Taller de Gráfica Popular (Workshop of Popular Graphics)
in the 1930s and 40s. In 1972, Sister Karen Baccalero founded Self Help
Graphics in an East Los Angeles barrio to support the work, sale, and appreciation
of Chicana/o art. The gallery sets prices for prints as low as possible.
The cheapest way to own Chicana/o art is in the form of mass-produced
reproductions, such as the reproduction of Yolanda López' drawing
on the poster,
or the paintings by Carmen
Lomas Garza that are reproduced on posters and in children's books:
Carmen Lomas Garza. (1990). Family Pictures: Cuadros de familia. San
Francisco: Children's Book Press and Carmen Lomas Garza. (1996). In my
Family: En mi familia. San Francisco: Children's Book Press.
||Art for Protest and Persuasion|
Conclude this lesson by asking students to identify
the individual person (patron?) or category of people whom they hope will
view their persuasion or protest print. If students have not already done
so, ask them to develop one or several preliminary sketches for their print.
Ask them to focus especially on how they might be able to capture the attention
of their intended viewer(s).
In discussion of Chicana/o and earlier prints, note whether students
can speculate about the role and influence of patrons and viewers of the
time on the artist's planning of his or her artwork.
Confirm that students have made preliminary printmaking sketches and
have identified intended viewers.
Items for a Protest and Persuasion Portfolio might include:
Reproductions of Codex
Borbonicus, portrait of Sor
Juana Inés de la Cruz, 18 century Portrait
of a Lady, and Huipil
Tehuantepec, and pieces by Alfredo Zalce, Luis Jiménez, Enrique
Chagoya, Gilbert Luján, Eduardo Oropeza, Carlos Cortez, and José
Guadalupe Posada. (See Computer Reproductions.)
© 2001 Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University. All Rights