•  Cultivating Creativity:
  •    The Arts and the Farm Workers' Movement During the 1960s and '70s

  •   Posters, Drawings, and Murals


    poster from El Malcriado

    Posters, drawings, and mural art played an important role in the farm workers’ movement and in the emergence of Chicano consciousness during the 1960s and 70s. Posters were some of the earliest efforts to "educate and agitate." They raised the awareness of workers’ conditions and of the discrimination facing Chicanos. Many artists began working with posters, and artists groups such as the Royal Chicano Air Force (a Sacramento-based association of like-minded artists) often created posters and graphics for the United Farm Workers. Drawing on diverse sources including Cuban revolutionary art, comic book-style illustrations, and historical images of Mexican heroes, Chicano poster art developed a uniquely Mexican-American look that has grown beyond its roots in the farm workers’ struggle.

    Likewise, murals played an important role in reminding farm workers of the union’s presence. These murals drew on the rich tradition of Mexican mural art but were uniquely Chicano. In 1968, Antonio Bernal painted the first Chicano mural on the wall of Teatro Campesino’s building in Del Ray, California.

    Art and Artifacts from the Collections of the Labor Archives and Research Center

    Copyright © 2007 Labor Archives and Research Center | J. Paul Leonard Library | San Francisco State University
    Credits and Contacts | Last Updated January 17, 2006