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malaquias_montoya

Malaquias Montoya, 2011

biography

Malaquias Montoya was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and raised in the San Joaquin Valley of California. He was brought up in a family of seven children by parents who could not read or write either Spanish or English. The three oldest children never went beyond a seventh grade education, as the entire family had to work as farm laborers for their survival. His father and mother were divorced when he was ten, and his mother continued to work in the fields to support the four children still remaining at home so they could pursue their education. Montoya graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1969.

Since then, he has lectured and taught at numerous colleges and universities in the San Francisco Bay Area including Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. He was a Professor at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA for twelve years; for five of those years he was Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department as well. During this period he also served as Director of the Taller de Artes Graficas, in East Oakland, where he produced various prints and conducted many community art workshops. Since 1989 Montoya has held a professorship at the University of California, Davis, teaching both in the department of Art and the department of Chicana/o Studies. In 2000, he spent a semester as Visiting Professor in the Art Department at the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, and he currently holds the title of Visiting Fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame.

Montoya's classes at Davis include silkscreening, poster making, and mural painting, with a focus on Chicano culture and history. His own works include acrylic paintings, murals, washes, and drawings, but he is primarily known for his silkscreen prints, which have been exhibited internationally as well as nationally. He is credited by historians as one of the founders of the social serigraphy movement in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-1960's. Montoya's unique visual expression is an art of protest, depicting the resistance and strength of humanity in the face of injustice and the necessity to unite behind that struggle.

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