Alex Donis, David and Dalilah, 1991, eleven-color serigraph, Edition 20 of 63, 40 1/4 x 28 in. Gift of Rene and Norma Molina and Museum Purchase with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. 1992.031.049


What's It All About?

Join us for a panel discussion with artists and administrators who will discuss the past, present, and future of Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG). Discussion will include SHG’s support of artists and its role in the evolution of Chicana/o/x practices.

Speakers are: Cultural leader and former director of Self Help Graphics Tomas J. Benitez; artist Alex Donis whose work is included in the exhibition; artist Grace Amemiya whose work is included in the exhibition, SHG Director of Artistic Programs and Education Marvella Muro, whose work is also included in the exhibition. The panel will be moderated by Rochelle Steiner, LAM Curatorial Fellow and Guest Curator of Marking an Era: Celebrating Self Help Graphics & Art at 50, which is on view at Laguna Art Museum.

Discussion will include the impact of SHG on artistic practices and on the community over the past five decades.

This will be an opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Self Help Graphics & Art at a special closing reception for the exhibition.

Advance tickets recommended.

Museum members: $12

Non-members: $18


About the Speakers

Tomas J. Benitez has been an arts advocate and cultural worker for nearly 50 years. He has served as a consultant to the Smithsonian Institute, the President’s Council for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the University of Notre Dame, USC, UCLA, the Mexican Fine Art Center Museum in Chicago, and the California Arts Council. He has lectured on Chicano art and culture in Berlin, Mexico City, London, Israel, Glasgow, and Pretoria South Africa, as well as throughout the United States. Tomas is the former Executive Director of Self Help Graphics & Art, and remains a consultant for several non-profit arts organizations. Tomas is an emeritus board member of the Californians for the Arts and the California Arts Advocates. He is a former Chairman and board member of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Latino Arts Network of California.


Alex Donis is a Los Angeles-based visual artist whose work examines and redefines the boundaries set within religion, politics, race, and sexuality. Interested in toppling societies’ conventional attitudes, his work is often influenced by a tri-cultural (Pop, Latinx and Queer) experience. He has worked extensively in a variety of media including painting, installation, photography, video, and works on paper. He has participated in hundreds of national and international, individual and group exhibitions. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Art in America, Flash Art, Artpapers, ArtForum, ArtNews, the New York Times, and Art & Queer Culture published by Phaidon Press. His work is in the permanent collection of the Los Angels County Museum of Art, the Museum of Art of São Paulo Brazil, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.


Marvella Muro is Director of Artistic, Curatorial, and Education Programs at Self Help Graphics and Art, spearheading the long-standing Professional Print Program, Barrio Mobile Art Studio, the Annual Day of the Dead celebration, and exhibitions. Since joining in 2019, the Beyond the Press artist-in-residence program was established for emerging or underrepresented artists, launched the Youth Committee and the Creative Lab partnership with the neighboring high school, and produced city-wide art projects, including the short documentary about six street vendors during the pandemic. She is the curator of the upcoming exhibition Sinks: Places We Call Home for the Getty Foundation’s PST: Art x Science initiative highlighting the environmental contamination and impact in two communities of color in Los Angeles. Her work bridges the gap between artists and the broader community and initiates access points for artistic expression. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Cal State University, Fullerton, and an M.A. in Arts Management from Goucher College in Maryland. Before joining SHG, she worked in the curatorial and education departments at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, concluding as the Community Engagement Manager, where she developed art programs with local community partners and artists in three communities of Los Angeles County.

Grace Amemiya is a fine artist from Los Angeles who also worked for many years in tandem as freelance graphic designer. In 2002, she left graphics design behind and transitioned into the healing arts. A path that dovetails back to her fine arts to deepen her experience and understanding of ancient spirituality in today’s world. Through the lens of surrealism and color, her work uses icons and symbolism to explore deeper meaning of identity and spirituality in the U.S. a country, filled with a fusion of cultures.Her work is in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Laguna Museum of Art and Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX and has been shown in galleries, group exhibitions in Los Angeles,throughout in the United States, and in Paris, France. She is currently co-producing “Art asActivism”, a documentary on the history of the first twenty-five years of Self Help Graphics & Art.


Rochelle Steiner is guest curator of Marking an Era: Celebrating Self Help Graphics & Art at 50 and Curatorial Fellow at Laguna Art Museum. She brings over 20 years experience working with artists and cultural institutions in the US, UK, Canada, and Asia, including at Palm Springs Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, London, and Saint Louis Art Museum. A recognized curator, writer, and educator, she has organized over 70 major art exhibitions and large-scale public art projects in the United States and abroad and has built public art collections. As Director of New York’s Public Art Fund, she commissioned projects located throughout the city’s public spaces. Steiner has also served as a professor and dean of Roski School of Art & Design at the University of Southern California (USC).  A Los Angeles native, she holds BA from Syracuse University and MA and PhD from University of Rochester.

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