The project featured visiting artists in residency starting from 2007 and finishing in 2011. These are artists whose papers are housed in CEMA. What distinguished these artist residencies from most others is that the focus of these artists is not studio art work, but rather to engage the artist in producing new narratives, to add valuable documentation and context to historically important materials in their respective collections. The artists composed new texts, artist statements, and assist guest curators with planning exhibitions of their work.
The artists also gave public lectures and classroom presentations, and/or write interpretive texts to be published through the project. Some of their interviews and lectures are recorded and are available as streaming video and audio on this site.
The last visiting artist Diane Gamboa came to UCSB in May 2011. She shared her life as an artist, her provocative art, fanciful style of haute couture paper fashion and photography with students at UCSB and La Cuesta High School. At CEMA she is helped to add richness and depth to the Self Help Graphics & Art Archives and the Shifra Goldman Collection by adding narration and descriptions to her art and imagery. During her visit Thomás Carrasco, Chicano Studies doctorate student and Chicano Secret Service troop member, conducted an insightful interview with Diane that was recorded and is a significant contribution to scholarship in the area of Chicano/a art and culture.
Hector Gonzalez is a record producer, musician, award winning sound engineer and current owner of Rampart Records. He has a first hand view of the vibrant music scene in East Los Angeles where multicultural bands contributed to the development of rock and roll. Gonzalez has many great stories regarding the players in what is called the West Coast East Side Sound. He is firmly grounded in the traditions of that time with a uniquely Southern Californian view of the early rock and roll scene that exploded around the country. He has taught classes in Chicano film studies, broadcast technology and ethnic studies. During his visit he will help with documenting the Hector Gonzalez Papers and the Eddie Davis West Coast Eastside Sound Archives.
Gonzalez's visit included a film discussion and screening of Hector Gonzalez’s documentary “The History of Rampart Records” and a presentation at La Cuesta Continuation High School. Gonzalez worked on documenting his history of Rampart Records scrapbooks. He also created captions for the East L.A. Rocks! photo exhibit that was on display at the Multicultural Center and on the UCSB library's first floor.
Esteban Villa, is a renowned artist, master muralist, and co-founder of the Sacramento-based artists collective known as the Royal Chicano Air Force. He was artist in residence for November 2009 and lectured on El Movimiento Chicano and the Royal Chicano Air Force. Martha Marin, UCSB student, commented that, "Esteban Villa did an amazing presentation and a wonderful job at taking us on a flight through the highlights of the RCAF history, filled with struggle but also laughter." While visiting Villa contributed insightful narratives to many of the posters in the RCAF and Esteban Villa Collections that he had a hand in creating. Villa lectured at UCSB as well as at La Cuesta Continuation High School.
San Francisco based Yolanda Lopez was in residence at UCSB in the spring of 2007. She provided much needed documentation and context to her donated collection, including identifying thousands of artists’ slides and documentary photographs of San Francisco’s Galeria de la Raza and of cultural events taking place in the Mission District.
East Los Angeles artist Leo Limon was artist in residence in spring 2008. He also documented his CEMA collection, lectured to classes, to visiting school groups, and made an outreach visit to a local high school attended by 700 students.
San Diego painter and muralist Salvador Torres is one of the earliest veterans of the Chicano art movement. His residency ran from April 13th to April 17th, 2009.
Some of the artists also engaged faculty and graduate students in an evening tertulia, or, art salon. Lively conversations with the artists over examples of their artwork are were very typical.
Project graduate students also participated. Cristina Serna, for example, conducted oral history interviews with Yolanda Lopez and assisted with an oral history publication on artist Leo Limon. Franky Fuentes helped to produce a documentary video on Limon.