By Dr. Ricardo Romo

Jesus Barraza is a San Francisco Bay area artist, teacher, and community activist. He is the co-founder, with Melanie Cervantes, of Dignidad Rebelde, a community arts organization that produces art prints and teaches young people the art of printmaking.

Over the past ten years, Barraza has worked with Cervantes  to create political posters and multimedia videos.  Early in his career Barraza was  inspired by the works of  famed Mexican graphic artist, Jose Gaudalupe Posada, and today  creates art in the spirit of  California artist Juan R. Fuentes, whose artwork has been a pivotal part of social movements.

Barraza  has taught Ethnic Studies and Art and Social Movements classes at California State University at Hayward and at San Francisco State University. He is currently a Lecturer in the Ethnic Studies Department at UC Berkeley.

Barraza describes his art as “grounded in Third World and indigenous movements that build peoples’ power to transform the conditions of fragmentation, displacement and loss of culture that results from this history.”  Barraza works  closely with numerous community organizations in the  San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area  to create prints that visualize, in his views,   the struggles for immigration rights, housing, education, and international solidarity.

Over the past twenty years Barraza has also assisted dozens of community organizations committed to social and environmental justice by designing and printing posters and prints about their cause.  His silk screen art of Chicano/a cultural and political leaders have been  acquired by museums, galleries, and private collectors across America.

His recent La Prensa Texas cover image of Dolores Huerta  was  donated to the University of Texas Benson Latin American Collection by Drs. Harriett and Ricardo Romo. The Romo collection at the Benson is one of the largest Chicano and Latino print collections in America, with over 700 prints.