Mission Gráfica, 46 years, Community, Culture, and Politics

An Art Exhibit curated by Juan R. Fuentes

Curator Assistants: Calixto Robles & MCCLA Curatorial Team

Exhibition Dates: May 5 to June 25, 2023

Opening Reception: May 5, 6pm to 9pm

Closing Reception: June 25, 2pm to 5pm

Over a period of more than four decades, Mission Gráfica has produced posters on a wide range of political and cultural events. It has made alliances with an astounding array of artists from around the world, and especially across Latin America, becoming the most significant political poster center in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mission Gráfica was created in 1982 through the joint efforts of René Castro, a political refugee from the coup in Chile, and Jos Sances, a Vietnam war draft resistor, with a base in commercial printing. It was an outgrowth of the MCC Graphics Department, which had produced artwork at the Mission Cultural Center since 1977. Castro’s brilliant graphic design melded with Sances’ technical mastery to create the expertise and graphic sensibility that came to define a new more aesthetically engaged form of screenprint.

The output of over forty years of screenprint posters and prints created at Mission Gráfica is uncountable. Early on poster collector and scholar Michael Rossman estimated that between 1982 and 1986 Mission Gráfica had produced some 500 editions. The Mission Gráfica archive of selected works numbers more than 1,700 prints. Not included in these figures is the tremendous number of uncollected works and thousands of student works created as part of screenprint classes.

During the 1990s Mission Gráfica was reformulated under the direction of Juan R. Fuentes who emphasized community projects and classes. He created a more open workshop that served artists exploring personal visions as well as political expression. Fuentes began the task of archiving the extensive collection of work that had been set aside at Gráfica.

Fuentes uses his broad knowledge of the archived works at Mission Gráfica to present this exhibition of prints reflecting an enormous variety of styles, approaches, and sensibilities. In addition to the principle artists that worked and taught at Mission Gráfica – Jos Sances, René Castro, Calixto Robles, Alexandra Blum, Juan R. Fuentes – the works of many other artists ranging from non-professional and emerging artists to well-known figures such as Nancy Hom, Juana Alicia, Ester Hernandez, Michael Roman, Jesus Barraza, Isaias Mata, Tirso Araiza and Josefina Jacquin and the San Francisco Print Collective are displayed in dialog with one another across the span of over forty years.

This exhibition was curated by Juan R. Fuentes with support from Calixto Robles and MCCLA Curatorial Team. With thanks and appreciation to Martina Ayala and the staff at MCCLA.

Art Hazelwood


Check out the new book Mission Grafica: Reflections of a Community in Print

Clay Water Grass – An adobe wall


Join us for an incredible evening that honors the legacy of Mission Grafica community printmakers and artists.

Doors Open: 5:30-6pm


Screening of “Strawberry Picker” Documentary film about Juan R. Fuentes

Directed by Eugenia Renteria and Paco Serrano

Q&A: Juan Fuentes and Filmmakers

Artist Panel Moderated by Juan R. Fuentes

7pm-9pm: Art Exhibit, Reception

Agave Spirits: Mezcal Tasting

Delicious food and drinks will be available for purchase

Book, Poster and Print Sale

Limited spaces available.  It is recommended you purchase your tickets online.


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