Self Help Graphics & Art
Self Help Graphics & Art, is an organization that serves as an important cultural arts center that has encouraged and promoted Chicana/o and Latina/o art in the Los Angeles community and beyond. The seeds of what would become Self Help Graphics & Art, were planted in 1970 during the height of the Chicano Civil Rights movement when two young queer Mexican artists, Carlos Bueno and Antonio Ibañez a...nd several Chicano artists, including Frank Hernandez, met Franciscan nun and Temple University-trained Master Artist, Sister Karen Boccalero. Reflective of the contemporary social and political climate, Bueno and Ibañez were frustrated by the inaccessibility and lack of facilities available to young Chicanos wishing to develop their talents as artists. The cost of private art schools was prohibitive to most Chicanos. While it is generally conceded that art is an intensely personal expression that holds no creative boundaries, some in the art world did not yet accept the concept of a unique Chicano art that would serve as an expression of cultural values. In this context, they set out to develop a plan that would remedy this situation; a plan that would not only serve the needs of aspiring Chicano artists, but that would also serve the greater East Los Angeles community.