Joel Garcia is an artist, arts administrator and cultural organizer with over 20 years of experience working transnationally with artists and organizations across the Americas with a focus on indigenous perspectives. Joel uses art, design and organizing as a vehicle to carry forth issues facing indigenous communities and inner-city youth.
Joel served as Co-Director at Self Help Graphics & Art (2010 - 2018) an organization rooted in printmaking and social justice. Under Joel’s leadership and through his experience, relationships in art-driven initiatives, community organizing and activism, SHG’s programs grew and garnered national recognition, and was recognized by President Obama’s administration. Projects he launched such as the Know Your Rights Poster Making Pop-Ups and JornARTleros led to supporting advocacy for vulnerable communities, Eastside artists, and low-wage workers such as street vendors, among other accomplishments. Joel designed and led the relaunch of the Barrio Mobile Art Studio, a mobile arts program under a social enterprise model employing and training artists. His advocacy and work with youth for a holistic approach to youth development have led to systemic changes in support of Boyle Heights residents. Furthermore, he has centered his work around Indigenous perspectives, as-well-as non-hierarchical, reciprocal, and anti-colonial practices, which has made it possible for SHG to be a host site for Indigenous-based events and mobilizations.
As printmaker Joel has assisted with revitalizing the Professional Print Program by helping merge digital and analog techniques and pushing for more experimental processes. He developed various print projects, including key programs such as the Printmaking Summit (and related print portfolio) and most recently, the 45th Anniversary Exhibition and artist panel series, “Entre Tinta y Lucha: 45 Years of Self Help Graphics & Art,” at Cal State LA to strengthen Chicana/o and Latinx printmaking.
Joel has worked with various movements and organizations locally and internationally such as the Dolores Huerta Foundation, UFW United Farm Workers, Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural, The Getty, Japanese American National Museum, the Save Ethnics Studies Campaign in Arizona, Alto Arizona Campaign against SB1070, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Cucapa Campaign for Ancestral Fishing Rights among others. Additionally, he has worked with musicians and performers such as Grammy Award Winning The Black Keys, Grammy Award Winning Quetzal, Emmy Award Winning Eddie Izzard, among others. He has also booked music tours in North America, Costa Rica, Peru & Europe helping expand Chicano & Mexican Punk Music.
In 2018 he was awarded the following fellowships; Wally Marks Leadership Institute for Change by the Liberty Hill Foundation, Rockwood Leadership Institute, Intercultural Leadership Institute, and the was recognized the Center for Nonprofit Management (Los Angeles).
In 2019 he was awarded the Monument Lab fellowship, a national public art and history project based in Philadelphia and is a recipient of the National Association for Latino Arts & Culture Fund for the Arts.
He recently presented a body of work at the Vincent Price Art Museum (July 2015) titled Tatewari focusing on generational trauma, masculinity, and tribalism.
CURRENT EXHIBITION: CSULA Library
Over the last month and half I’ve had the opportunity to work with 14 students from @calstatela through @kdrslaysthepatriarchy class in partnership with @justicelanow #projectrebound and #wordsuncaged to create an art installation calling for prison abolition and to support the fight stop the construction of new prisons by the @countyofla - We took one #jailbed bunk and created two student desks to illustrate the need to redirect resources from incarceration towards education. We also have to remember that those first incarcerated in LA were the #tongvaprimarily women. One of the first structures built when LA was founded was a jail. This installation will be up at the CSULA Library until Dec. 21, 2018. #toypurina #apachiagna#yangna #schoolsnotprisons #jailbedsdrop @_projectrebound @wordsuncaged
South of the Border
South of the Border is a fine art exhibition addressing the timely and controversial topic of immigration through the works of ten artists whose ancestral heritage connects them to several Latin American countries.
October 21 - December 4, 2017
453 S. La Brea Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90036
participating gallery Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is the latest collaborative effort from arts institutions across Southern California.
June 13, 2015 | 4PM to 6PM
1031 Avenida Cesar E. Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754-6099