In the time between this exhibition and last summer’s TANA exhibition at the Davis Community Gallery, politics within the United States have been increasingly polarizing. Young people are especially affected since they are the ones to inherit the world we leave them. The youth at TANA utilize silk-screening as their platform for their voice to speak to the issues we face today. Their art illuminates their consciousness and brilliance.
TANA was founded as an extension of the poster workshop philosophy that people are empowered through the creation of culture. In 2009, Malaquias Montoya and Carlos Francisco Jackson founded Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA) in Woodland, California as an extension of the silkscreen printmaking program in the Chicana/o Studies Department at UC Davis. Meaning “art workshop of the new dawn,” Montoya and Jackson envisioned TANA as a transformational space where art and culture could be used to teach and inspire. Believing that this shouldn’t be limited to the university, Montoya and Jackson worked to establish an art center where UC Davis student interns could instruct youth and community members in the silkscreen process. Although Woodland is less than 15 miles away from campus, the university can sometimes feel worlds away. This exchange between community members and university faculty, students, and staff bridges for many what can feel like an insurmountable divide. As a lasting and vibrant community-based art center, TANA’s presence helps make the university closer.