October 25, 2008 |
When last we left our embattled arts activists at Self Help Graphics, they were on the verge of eviction from their longtime headquarters in East L.A. Even some true believers were ready to count out the struggling community-based institution that has been a beacon for Chicano art for almost four decades. But the group is still alive and kicking as it prepares for its biggest event of the year, the Day of the Dead on Nov. 2, with a display of colorful altars, a procession and a concert.
July 19, 2008 |
Supporters of Self Help Graphics, the historic East L.A. arts center, got a little sanctimonious last week when they learned that the building they had occupied rent-free for decades had been sold by their landlord and longtime benefactors, the Sisters of St. Francis. How could those nuns pull the rug out from under them like that, without notice? The art agency's board president, Armando Duron, even suggested that the leader of the Catholic order should go to confession for the alleged duplicity.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 2008 |
In the early 1970s, a Franciscan nun turned an East Los Angeles garage into a thriving cultural center that gave rise to some of the city's most successful Latino artists. Self Help Graphics & Art later moved into a 1920s-era building on Cesar Chavez Avenue that would become distinctive for its mosaic-covered facade. Artists such as Gronk, Frank Romero and Barbara Carrasco exhibited their work and taught at the center. Sister Karen Boccalero, its founder, became a patron of the East L.A.
March 15, 2008 |
ARMANDO DURON rushes out of court one day last week after dispatching another divorce case in his lucrative family law practice. The silver-haired lawyer and art collector is running late for a noon appointment, but not at some chic downtown restaurant. He's heading to East Los Angeles, where he spends his spare time trying to rescue the chronically struggling community arts collective Self Help Graphics. The agency on Cesar Chavez Avenue, considered the heart of the Chicano art scene, was close to closing its doors three years ago when Duron decided to volunteer to help turn it around.
June 23, 2007 |
When the topic turned to Self Help Graphics, East L.A.'s revered but perennially struggling cultural center, it seemed as if nobody talked about creating art. For years, the talk had been all about survival -- meager budgets, debilitating debt, mass board resignations and Sisyphean drives for new funds. But there's a feisty, chain-smoking ghost who inhabits the agency's decrepit building on Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and who doesn't get bogged down in the bottom line.
November 2, 2005 |
There will be two Day of the Dead celebrations tonight at Self Help Graphics & Art, the venerated East Los Angeles arts center that abruptly closed last summer amid mounting financial and organizational problems. Inside the fence surrounding the mosaic-covered building, Self Help will hold its traditional Day of the Dead event, with altars, food, a procession and a print made for the occasion by the artist known as Germ.