Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sacrachicano, the Royal Chicano Air Force and Sacramento History Photos of the Week, Numbers 29 and 30...

The Rebel Chicano Art Front, more commonly known as the Royal Chicano Air Force, proved to be one of Sacramento and the nation’s more influential art cooperatives during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Founded in 1969, and germinating from downtown Sacramento’s Alkali Flat neighborhood, the group’s crafting of posters, T-shirt designs, flags and boycott signs helped promote the Chicano movement's struggle for civil rights, labor organizing and self-definition.

Pictured above is a work done by the RCAF’s Ricardo Favela and offers a composite of imagery far beyond the overt message of a Mother’s Day 1976 dinner and dance at St. Joseph’s School at Ninth and “G.” Familiar symbols and “unifiers” of the Chicano liberation movement, the Virgin of Guadalupe and the “Eagle,” representing the United Farm Workers, are blended with encouragement to boycott the Gallo Winery.

Ramiro Martinez's rollicking Club Artistico Reno at 415 12th Street served as a cultural hothouse for Alkali Latinos for over twenty-five years. Over that span, three Spanish-language movies were filmed there and its stage was graced by Latin American singers and actors alike. To make way for 12th Street redevelopment, the Club was razed in the spring of 1987. Below, this exquisite RCAF poster, and crafted by Juanishi Orozco, promotes a music and poetry event at the Reno.

These photos and many more like them can be found in the Sacramento Public Library’s Sacramento Room which is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5, and Thursday 1 to 8.

Make sure to also checkout, "Sacrachicano," showcasing historical and current works by some of the RCAF's major artists as well as emerging artists who are carrying on the cooperative's tradition. An important aspect of Sacrachicano is a traditional El Dia de los Muertos altar for Armando Cid and other deceased RCAF artists. The exhibit is in partnership with Galeria Posada and is curated by Gloria Burt and Juanishi Orosco. View the exhibit during library open hours through January 3, 2010.

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