Rupert García, born in French Camp, California. He studied painting at Stockton Junior College (1959-1962, AA) and San Francisco State University (1966-1970, BA and MA in painting/printmaking), where he was influenced by photorealism, pop art and the new left critique of commodity culture. Garcia received an MA in the history of art from UC Berkeley in 1981 and received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of San Francisco in 1993. One of the leading artists in the Chicano Art movement in the Bay area of the late-1960s and early 1970s, García co-founded several seminal West Coast civil rights movement-oriented workshops and collectives, including Galería de la Raza and the San Francisco Poster Workshop. The workshop was forced off the San Francisco State University campus by the police during the campus-wide student/faculty strike (led by The Black Student Union and a coalition of other student groups known as the Third World Liberation Front [TWLF] from Nov. 6, 1968 to March 20, 1969). Garcia was among the many on and off campus who protested the Vietnam War, in which he performed secret security duties from 1965-66. During the strike at SFSU in 1968, García produced a signature poster, a portrait of the Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara above the slogan “Right On!”.
García has received numerous awards and honors, including an individual artist fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, President’s Scholar Award from San Jose State University. In 1983, García compiled the first major Bibliography on Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Frida Kahlo: A Bibliography and Biographical Introduction. He has also received the College Art Association’s Distinguished Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 1995, he received the National Hispanic Academy of Media Arts and Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award in Art.
The National Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. will hold his papers and some of his work, and recognize him as a significant American artist. García is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at San Jose State University.