Self Help Graphics & Getty Foundation “Pacific Standard Time LA/LA” 2017

Self Help Graphics & Art 
Día de los Muertos: A Cultural Legacy, Past Present & Future
as a part of the Getty Initiative PST: LA/LA

Linda Vallejo and Betty Ann Brown co-curated Self Help Graphics’ El Dia de Los Muertos: Past, Present, and Future exhibition as a part of the Getty Foundation Initiative Pacific Standard Time (PST) LA/LA.  Over forty organizations and institutions across Southern California have received Getty support to create programming that explores Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.

El Dia de Los Muertos: Past, Present, and Future exhibition and education program will open in mid-September 2017 and run through January 2018. This offering will highlight Self Help Graphics pioneering Day of the Dead programming in the late 1970’s, the history of the celebration on both sides of the border, part Latin American and Latino Day of the Dead celebrations from the ancient world to the present day, and into the future.

El Dia de Los Muertos: Past, Present, and Future will be co-curated by Dr. Betty Brown (Emeritus Professor of Art History, California State University Northridge).  The exhibition will include a full color catalog with essays by project historians Dr. Betty Ann Brown, Dr. Karen Mary Davalos (Professor of Chicana/o Studies, Loyola Marymount University) and Mexican artist Nayla Altamirano (Mexico, D.F.).

Programming explored the evolution of Día de los Muertos in Los Angeles and the foundational transnational dialogue between the Chicano/Latino community and Mexico that continues to shape the tradition as celebrated on both sides of the border. This future-focused exhibition will be supported by educational programming including historically researched lectures, artist panel discussion, family-friendly tours, as well as an on-demand catalog to encourage discourse between Los Angeles and border cities – Tijuana and Mexicali/Calexico to learn more about the roots and continuing evolution of this important celebration.

Three altars produced by Chicano and Mexican artists will anchor the exhibition to provide a visual thread of the celebration’s evolution.  In addition, Self Help will host a month of interactive education programming leading up to the exhibition, festivities, and public programs including presentations in panel or lecture form led by art historians and educators.


Self Help Graphics and the Birth of Modern Day Día de los Muertos, KCET Artbound, by Jordan Riefe, October 25, 2017

¡Hasta L.A. vista! Los Angeles shows Latin America’s art and its influence on California culture in several museumsZeit Online, Weltkunst issue no. 1/2018, By Sebastian Preuss, January 3, 2018


PBS “Craft in America: Borders Episode” explores the relationships and influences that Mexican and American craft artists have on each other, featuring the Day of the Dead celebration, master altar builder Ofelia Esparza and Self Help Graphics & Art in Los Angeles; weaver J. Isaac Vásquez García and family of Teotitlán del Valle, Mexico; American weaver Jim Bassler and potter Veralee Bassler; the colorful Guelaguetza parade in Los Angeles; and Chicago artist Kiff Slemmons who works with maestro Francisco Toledo at the Art Paper Workshop in Mexico.


SHG PST 2017 Event Invitation SHG PST 2017 Event Invitation 2 SHG PST 2017 Events Program Pacific Standard Time Website SHG PST 2017 Purchase Catalog