Aztlán Rises

In 1969, activists at the First National Chicano Youth Liberation Conference wrote the manifesto “El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán,” which called on artists to “produce literature and art that is appealing to our people and relates to our revolutionary culture.” By 1974, David Avalos felt the call of the movement and painted his first Chicano mural, launching a celebrated career as an artist.

Avalos, who is this year’s Richard T. Castro Visiting Professor at Metro State University, and Cecily Cullen, creative director at MSU’s Center for Visual Art, have co-curated In Lak’ech San Diego to Denver: You Are My Other Self, an exhibition of works by Chicano artists spanning from the 1970s to the present day.

“The title, In Lak’ech, is a statement that means ‘You are my other self,’” Cullen explains. “It’s an embracing of differences, and that in itself is a really important statement that underlines the exhibition. It’s a way of showing mutual respect of differences, different experiences and expression.”

The show features work about immigration, cultural difference and equality by Avalos and other artists, including famed political satirist Lalo Alcaraz; Denver’s reunited collective of artist-educator-activists, Los Fantasmas; and paintings from the “Guadalupe” series by the renowned Yolanda M. López.

In Lak’ech opens tonight with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. and runs through October 4 at the CVA, 965 Santa Fe Drive. For more information, go to or call 303-294-5207.
Fri., Aug. 15, 6-8 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Aug. 15. Continues through Oct. 4, 2014

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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris