For Immediate Release
Contact: Lezlie Salkowitz Montoya

PreMeditated: Meditations on Capital Punishment
Recent Works by Malaquias Montoya

July 30 through August 27, 2005
Opening Reception, July 30 from 6 to 9 P.M.
Artist Talk given by Montoya will take place during the reception

Track 16 Gallery is pleased to present PreMeditated: Meditations on Capital Punishment, Recent Works by Malaquias Montoya. The exhibition features Montoya’s recently created silkscreen images and paintings, and related research dealing with the death penalty and penal institutions: works inspired by the escalation of deaths at the hands of the State of Texas in recent years.  Montoya will be speaking during the opening reception. The exhibition will be on view from July 30 through August 27, 2005, with an opening reception on July 30, from 6 to 9 P.M. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 A.M. to 6 P.M.

As Montoya states, “We have perfected the art of institutional killing to the degree that it has deadened our national, quintessentially human, response to death. I wanted to produce a body of work depicting the horror of this act.” In these works, Montoya illuminates the inhumanity of the horrendous act of premeditated murder committed by the state––a situation where the use of punishment to discourage crime encourages criminality.

Malaquias Montoya is a leading figure in the West Coast political Chicano graphic arts movement, a political and socially conscious movement that expresses itself primarily through the mass production of silk-screened posters. Montoya’s works include acrylic paintings, murals, washes, and drawings, but he is primarily known for his silkscreen prints, which have been exhibited nationally as well as internationally. He is credited by historians as being one of the founders of the “social serigraphy”’ movement in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid - 1960s. His visual expressions, art of protest, depict the struggle and strength of humanity and the necessity to unite behind that struggle. Montoya’s work uses powerful images, which are combined with text to create his socially critical messages.

Montoya has lectured and taught at numerous universities and colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, and the California College of Arts. He was a visiting professor in the Art Department at the University of Notre Dame in 2000, and continues as a Visiting Fellow for the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame. Since 1989, Montoya has been a professor at U.C. Davis. His classes, through the Departments of Chicana/o Studies and Art, include silkscreening, poster making, and mural painting and focus on Chicana/o culture and history.

In conjunction with the exhibition Track 16 Gallery will host two events:

A staging of the theatrical work,“THE EXONERATED” on Friday and Saturday, August 5 and 6 at 8:00 P.M. Admission is $10.00. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the L.A. Chapter of Death Penalty Focus. R.S.V.P. as seating is limited (310) 264-4678. Written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, “The Exonerated” is a compilation of true stories based on interviews with men and women who spent anywhere from two to twenty-two years on death row only to later be found innocent and released.

A panel discussion “Activism Through Art: The Death Penalty,” presented by the L.A. Chapter of Death Penalty Focus and the L.A. Coalition Against the Death Penalty on Saturday, August 20 at 7:00 P.M. Suggested donation $10. R.S.V.P. (310) 264-2678. Panelists include artist Malaquias Montoya, author Barbara Becnel, actors Mike Farrell (President of Death Penalty Focus) and Shelley Fabares, and more special guests.