Leonard Castellanos (American, b. 1949)
Mechicano Art Center (American)
DimensionsSheet : 28 1/2 x 22 1/2 in. (72.39 x 57.15 cm)
Mat : 30 x 24 in. (76.2 x 60.96 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelInspired by the Mexican Muralist movement, the Chicano Art movement emerged in the United States in the 1960s to support the growing social consciousness and political activism of Mexican Americans. The Chicano Art movement was highly decentralized and took different forms in different places, but it commonly appeared in the form of artist-run collectives that organized community art projects while also providing various community services including free legal advice, supplemental food distribution, anti-gang mediation, and low or no-cost health-care services. The Mechicano Art Center in Los Angeles was one such Chicano Art collective. Operating from 1969 to 1978, the Mechicano Art Center was led for much of its history by Leonard Castellanos, the artist who designed this print for a 1977 exhibition at the Art Center that was loosely inspired by popular calendar art. The dramatic image of a tank firing its turret gun is a protest against war generally and more specifically against US military support for right-wing forces in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador at that time.