When Sam Coronado founded the Serie Project in 1993, he envisioned a workshop where underrepresented artists could benefit from collaboration and learn the serigraphy technique. In the last two decades the organization has fostered over 250 artists from different professional levels and ethnic backgrounds, who together have produced a rare and special collection of serigraphs.
About the Founder
Sam Coronado was a Chicano painter and printmaker who practiced the art of serigraphy for over thirty years. His vision for the Serie Project came after he encountered Self Help Graphics in 1991. Coronado’s participation in this program showed him that prints, a vital aspect of the Chicano art movement, could continue to reflect the Mexican American and Latino experience in the United States.
With the desire to grant better access to this historically significant medium, Coronado made it his mission to provide affordable printmaking services in Austin, Texas. In 1992 he established Coronado Studio, a commercial printmaking facility, and founded the “Serie Print Project” as a separate, nonprofit entity the following year. The Serie Print Project enabled Coronado to host an Artist in Residence program through which artists could utilize Coronado Studio at no cost to them. In 1999, the organization was renamed as “The Serie Project”, and to this day continues to employ the printmaking resources at Coronado Studio. With much dedication, Coronado served the Serie Project as Executive Director up until his death in November of 2013. His wife and longtime supporter of the Serie Project, Jill Ramirez, has since then stepped into Coronado’s shoes with a plan to keep his legacy alive.
The Serie Project’s realization of social change is largely achieved through its collaboration with the Latino and cultural community. The organization has collaborated with Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas since 1998 to present exhibitions of the Serie Project on a yearly basis. Furthermore, Mexic-Arte Museum is the official archive of Serie Project prints. In 2002, Sam Coronado and the Serie Project became one of the founding members of Consejo Grafico, the first nationally recognized consortium of Latino printmakers in the United States. The Serie Project has had the pleasure of collaborating with the Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, Texas throughout the years, and in February of 2014, the MACC memorialized Coronado by renaming their main gallery to the Sam Z. Coronado Gallery in his honor. The Serie Project has also collaborated with the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection as well as the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, who renamed their poster scholarship contest to the Sam Z. Coronado Student Poster Art Scholarship Contest in February of 2013.
Serigraphs from the Serie Project have gained the attention and support of multiple museums, such as the McNay Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California, the Austin Museum of Art in Texas, and the Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University in Tempe. Selected prints have been featured in the PBS Series “Art Journeys” and in the publications Triumph of Our Communities, Chicano Art for our Millennium, and Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art. Artwork from the Serie Project is also part of a number of prominent private collections, including the Ricardo and Harriett Romo Collection and the Gilberto Cardenas Collection.