Third World Press Collective just had a great talk with sometimes-stencil artist Melanie Cervantes. Melanie and her husband Jesus Barraza crank out amazing political posters for many great causes. Years ago, Jesus told me that he learned how to screen print from old school printers who called the screens "stencils" (and acutally used stencils to occasionally put the image on the screen). I first met Melanie while photographing her stencils at the old Counterpulse space.
"Brown & Proud" by Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza (Stencilada 2009)
Feminist Fistbumps: Artist Melanie Cervantes Discusses Art as Decolonial Activism
Happy Monday! This week we move the arts conversation from the East coast (remember Maribel and Cristy, who are living in Brooklyn?) back to the West coast! Here is our latest interview with California-based artist Melanie Cervantes, who donated a fierce piece to the online art auction that was curated by Chris Davila in December.
Third Woman Press Collective (TWPC): Melanie, we know you’re really busy, and we thank you for joining us this week. Let’s start off by talking about your group, Dignidad Rebelde. Can you tell us a little more about it?
Melanie Cervantes (MC): Sure! Dignidad Rebelde is a collaborative space for building community and producing art. We believe that art can be an empowering reflection of community struggles, dreams and visions. Following principles of Xicanisma and Zapatismo, we create work that translates people’s stories into art that can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it.