Rini Templeton- Movement Artist!

Since the spring, i've been cataloging posters at UCLA's Chicano Studies Research Center. The recent post on maoist propaganda got me thinking i might post on some different movement images.

Rini Templeton "made drawings of activists in the United States, Mexico and Central America while she joined them in their meetings, demonstrations, picket lines and other actions for social justice. She called her bold black-and-white images "xerox art" because activists and organizers could copy them easily for use in their banners, signs, leaflets, newsletters, even T-shirts, whenever needed.

Her drawings also included workers, women and children, celebrations, scenes of town and country, many images from daily life. In all her work you can feel a unity with grassroots people across national and racial lines. She almost never signed a drawing, out of typical modesty. As a result, her style is widely recognized but her name is not.

Two years after she died in Mexico in 1986, Rini’s work was published in a bilingual book in the U.S. (Real Comet Press, Seattle) and Mexico (Centro de Documentación Gráfica Rini Templeton). Entitled The Art of Rini Templeton: Where There is Life and Struggle/El Arte de Rini Templeton: Donde hay vida y lucha, the U.S. editorial coordinator was Elizabeth (Betita) Martinez. The Mexican team included 5 editors from the Punto Crítico magazine collective together with a production coordinator. All had worked with Rini extensively."- from the website dedicated to Rini Templeton

Early on in the cataloging project i found posters with Rini's art on them. I knew i had seen the art before (in fact, a friend of a friend had a tattoo of one of Rini's images- so i eventually did learn). Like the website says, I was one of the many folks who have appreciated her work, but didn't know about her at all. This website gives us a chance.

Since we all can't be awesome artists, it's all to the good to use her images for your activist projects!

Rini Templeton

Thanks for sharing, Greg. Youth Organizing Communities/Inner City Struggle made great use of Rini Templeton images on our banners, flyers, and shirts during the "No on Prop. 21" campaign and others. I highly recommend use of her beautiful graphics for really nice banners, using the overhead projector method.

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