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The next generation of Chicano artists is here

Created: 11 June, 2010
Updated: 13 September, 2023
3 min read

MAAC Community Charter School Students created panels with social justice leaders, such as Rigoberta Menchu.

    Among San Diego County Chicano children and youth might be the next generations of Diego Riveras, José Clemente Orozcos, or David Alfaro Siquieros.

    Two new exhibitions in San Ysidro and Chula Vista are proof of that.

    “De Colores: The Art of the Kindergartener” opens with a reception on Wednesday, June 16th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Front, Casa Familiar’s arts and cultural center in San Ysidro.

    The exhibition features the work of more than 200 students from the San Ysidro School District. Most of the exhibit focuses on the artwork created by kindergarteners from Sunset, Beyer, and Smythe elementary schools. It will also include a San Ysidro Middle School Photo Camp exhibit, which includes photographs taken by San Ysidro teenagers in their community.

    The exhibit will be divided into two different mini-exhibits. On the first reception, on June 16, students from Beyer and Sunset will show their artworks.

    Then, on the 23, students from Smythe and SYMS will have the chance to share their talents.

    The opening receptions will feature live musical selections from the district’s own Escuela de Música.

    “We are excited about the strong partnership among all agencies and institutions involved,” said Gloria Madera, assistant superintendent of educational services at the San Ysidro School District. “The artists are producing outstanding art and the children are thoroughly engaged and interested in what they are learning. This will be a wonderful way to showcase their talent with their families and community.”

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    The exhibition includes images such as butterflies, balloons, relatives: All familiar images in the daily lives of children in San Ysidro.

    “For us, as an art gallery, is important to encourage children to continue with their artistic education,” said Leticia Gomez, director of art and culture at The Front. “The heart of what we do is the well-being of the community. We’re sure this exhibition will serve as an inspiration for our children to continue creating art.”

San Ysidro kindergarten students are developing as artists.

    The children have been receiving art instruction in workshop format from artists involved with the Young Rembrandts program.

            “San Ysidro School District students and parents are thrilled about the masterpieces these children are creating,” said Lisa Yegin, executive director for Young Rembrandts. “When we hear the students make the connection between their English language development and their drawings, that’s when we know we did it right.”

   Gomez said that “the next generation of artists is here.”

   Another exhibition of young Latino artists is happening at the MAAC Community Charter School, in Chula Vista.

   Art teacher Victor Ochoa said that the latest of four portables of influential social leaders are now in exhibition.

   The four paintings were done in conjunction with the social sciences class of teacher Charlie Mejia, who is also a graffiti artist.

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   Each panel is done by a student in the areas of social justice. These include Rigoberta Menchu, highlighting her work in favor of Indigenous rights, women’s rights and her history as a Guatemalan Indian and recent Nobel Peace Prize medal winner. The other images are of Nelson Mandela, John Lennon y Cesar Chavez.

   More information: The Front, (619) 428-1115; MAAC Community Charter School, (619) 818-0173.

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