Holly Barnet-Sanchez ’65 spoke to the George School community during assembly on Friday, April 19, 2019. She discussed how she came to be an historian of Chicano art, a movement that represents efforts by Mexican-American artists to establish a unique identity in the United States. She also presented a selection of murals covered in her book, Give Me Life: Iconography and Identity in East LA Murals.
The book, which she co-authored with documentarian Tim Drescher, provides a comprehensive analysis of the important murals that helped shape what it means to be a Chicano contributing to art-based community making. Holly donated a copy of her book to the Mollie Dodd Anderson (MDA) Library.
“These murals are going away, but I think their story is so important,” said Holly. “They show a relationship between art, activism, and community.”
During her time on campus, Holly also spoke to students taking IB Visual Arts Seminar where she discussed Chicana artists Judith Baca, Ester Hernandez, Amalia Mesa-Bains, and Delilah Montoya. She also got a tour of the IB art projects on display in the Class of 1956 Gallery in the MDA Library.
“Those projects are fantastic,” she said. “Wonderful and amazing. The students are so talented. I can’t believe the quality of them.”
Holly also spent time talking to Sophie Francesco ’20 and helped with research for her IB project.
Holly is an associate professor emerita of Latin American and Chicano/a, Latino/a art history at the University of New Mexico. She received her Ph.D., from the University of California (Los Angeles).
Holly and her husband, David Foster ’65, are proud alums, loyal donors, and members of the John M. George Society. Holly and David recently hosted a George School alumni event in their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico and will celebrate their fifty-fifth reunion during Alumni Weekend 2020.