Sponsoring activities to promote the understanding and appreciation of art by the public, especially by the traditional and historical cultures of Tucson, by minorities and others underserved by the arts. Making art and the creative process available to those who might not otherwise have access to them through community outreach to all age groups: children, adults, and seniors. Promoting solidarity, synergy, and opportunities for artists' growth, and encouraging creative expression from individual member artists.
Our name, Raices (roots); Taller (workshop), is a combination of two separate yet very compatible impulses that led to our founding 23 years ago. The two founding members, Juan Enriquez and Jorge Arteaga needed a studio space in which to pursue their artwork. They found such a space at 222 E. 6th St. in Tucson, which was conveniently attached to a storefront gallery. These were the conditions under which the collective effort was born - an effort that incorporates the artistic, organizational and financial abilities of its members. From 23 initial members, the group has stabilized at 12 members. Many members have known one another for several years within the arts and educational communities.
Tucson's only Latino based contemporary non-profit cooperative art gallery and workshop located in the Downtown Historic Warehouse District.
Raices Taller is a collective that has been built upon trust and mutual respect of the members that strives to encourage support within the group. A primary goal is to educate and promote the arts experience to segments of the population that otherwise might not have access to it through other more traditional methods.
We are interested in growing from our Latino roots, but Raices Taller is not exclusively Latino and that is what gives our organization its vitality. We don't exist in a vacuum and our diversity is represented in our artists and their art. In addition, Raices Taller is inter-generational in that we have members and guest artists that have ranged in age from 6 to 80 years of age.
From the beginning, we felt it was important to establish an actual facility where we could combine our skills and resources for the benefit of all current and future members. We continue to seek to offer venues and physical resources allowing creative expression from individual members while, at the same time, encouraging understanding and appreciation of art through community outreach to children and adults.
Since our founding, Raices Taller has hosted over 500 exhibitions. Several of these exhibitions were co-sponsored by the University of Arizona Art Department and the Department of Chicano / Hispano Affairs, Self-Help Graphics, Xicanindio, Luz Social Services, and the Tucson Pima Arts Council. Tucson's first bi-cultural international exchange with Ciudad Obregon, Mexico was also realized through the efforts of our members and the Tucson Pima Arts Council. We have hosted screenings of films written produced and directed by Tucsonans as well as hosted book readings by local and regional writers. In addition, we have hosted dance groups from local high schools, poets from the Tucson Poets Society, and playwright Silviana Wood
Our future looks bright. We have received our non-profit status and have begun planning fund raising methods and events to help us improve our gallery and studio spaces. Our volunteers, mostly composed of family and friends, continue to provide us with guidance and assistance.
As indicated in our name, Raices Taller 222 has a dual purpose, gallery, and workshop. In the future, as in the past, we will work to ensure that Raices Taller continues to allow the established artists to conduct workshops with fellow artists and emerging artists and becomes an even more valuable venue for interaction, exchanging ideas, developing of techniques, and gauging progress amongst the members. Raices Taller 222 will continue to function in a cooperative spirit and allows creation, critique, and exhibition among our member artists and the diverse community in which we live.