Unedited footage from Murals of Aztlan by James Tartan 1981
The 1981 exhibition Murals of Aztlan: The Street Painters of East Los Angeles at the Craft and Folk Art Museum featured large portable murals by Carlos Almaraz, Gronk, Judithe Hernandez, Willie Herron, Frank Romero, John Valadez and the East Los Streetscrapers (David Botello, Wayne Healy, George Yepes). The event marked a turning point in the reception of Chicano art—the radical, and often illegal, practice of muralismo, a form of street art, transformed an institutional setting. As the artists worked on their murals, the public was invited to observe and ask questions. Filmmaker James Tartan documented the installation and public interactions. Shown here is an excerpt from hundreds of hours of footage created by Tartan. Credit: Unedited footage from Murals of Aztlan, 1981 May 16. Murals of Aztlán film production records, 1981. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.