A compelling blend of art history, social analysis, and personal testimony, this book presents a new paradigm for understanding Chicana/o studies. By following the artistic and ideological journeys of two groups of northern California Chicana artists, Maria Ochoa argues that the women involved in these collectives created complex images whose powerful visual social commentary sprang from the daily experiences of their lives. Ochoa's artistic narrative first focuses on Mujeres Muralistas, a path-breaking San Francisco group of mural painters organised in the early 1970s at the height of the Chicana/o Movement. The story then turns its attention to Co-Madres Artistas, a group of artists who came together in the 1990s after spending decades tending their families, becoming successful in their careers, and launching key Chicana/o cultural institutions in the Sacramento Valley. Ochoa tells the stories of the individual members of these collectives to show how they combined art and activism. Through an innovative application of oral history interviews, a fascinating compilation of individual and collective stories emerges.
Mar a Ochoa teaches at San Jos State University in the Social Science Department. She is co-founder of the Research Cluster for the Study of Women of Color at the Center for Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz. In 1999 the California State Assembly honored her as a "Woman of the Year" for her contributions in the visual arts.