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IA Partners with Community-Based Collaborative, Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA)

By Imagining America | October 03, 2017

Over the last year, Imagining America (IA) has built alliances throughout Davis, California, and the Central Valley Region, in preparation for its headquarters move to the West Coast, and in anticipation of the forthcoming conference hosted by UC Davis. Through this coalition-building work, a strong connection emerged with Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA), a collaborative partnership between the Chicana/o Studies Department at UC Davis and the greater Woodland community.

TANA offers a fully functioning silkscreen studio, Chicano/Latino Arts exhibition space, and a teaching center for the arts. Through exhibiting, printing, and teaching, TANA cultivates the cultural and artistic life of the community, viewing the arts as essential to a community’s development and well-being.

TANA is deeply involved in the 2017 IA conference planning, particularly through the participation of Drucella Anne Miranda, the manager of TANA and a graduate of UC Davis’ Women and Gender Studies and American Studies’ departments in 2016. She has helped to organize multiple sessions, including a ceremony led by community and indigenous leaders to connect the conference to the space and the land at the conference opening plenary.

On Friday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., TANA will host a site-specific IA conference workshop, Silk-Screening as a Political Movement, at its location in Woodland, California. Participants will receive a tour of the studio space and view a silkscreen demonstration led by TANA cofounder and UC Davis professor emeritus, Malaquias Montoya. Participants will have the opportunity to create a poster. The end goal is to engage people in an alternative educational and cultural space that fosters community engagement and imagination.

“A partnership between TANA and IA is so organic,” said Miranda. “As TANA’s manager, I have continuously participated on the conference steering committee since the Spring, and because of personal networks and experiences in the Woodland and Sacramento region, it helps to create new relationships here in California with IA, so we can further support the work of one another.”

Montoya and Carlos Francisco Jackson founded TANA in 2009 as an extension of the silkscreen printmaking program in the Chicana/o Studies Department at UC Davis. They envisioned TANA as a transformational space where art and culture could be used to teach and inspire. TANA is a continuation of the Chicana/o Studies Department’s history of scholarship and promotion of community health and empowerment.

The conference closing plenary session, Intergenerational Justice: Community Engaged Teaching and Learning from the Central Valley to the National IA Network, will celebrate the work of Montoya and TANA. Montoya will be joined in dialogue with Miranda and Elyse Doyle-Martinez, a participant in TANA’s programs, around three themes: legacies, space, and the power of the poster.

“Since we create posters through silk-screening in a way that continues the political legacies from the Civil Rights Era, there is a deep understanding that the power of the poster empowers us to rewrite our narratives and have agency to speak to ideas that are important to the community,” said Miranda. “As IA seeks to better serve and support communities outside the ivory tower, IA understands that art and artists play a large role in reframing and informing work and scholarship that can be revolutionary. TANA is powerful in that its existence is a powerful space that bridges the University with the community and especially its youth to engage in dialogue with one another.”

TANA is hosting a Special Edition Opening Exhibition on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. after the conference closes at 1224 Lemen Avenue, Woodland, California. Since 2010, TANA has worked with visiting artists to create limited edition silkscreen prints, and will unveil special TANA edition prints for sale at the exhibit. All proceeds will help support TANA’s community workshops and visiting artist program.