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The Royal Chicano Air Force touches down
1/22/2011 | 2:00 pm

A lecture and video screening exploring the pivotal work of the Royal Chicano Air Force + closing out "Galeria 4.0, A Retrospective" exhibition

  Galería Exhibitions The Royal Chicano Air Force touches down <2011>
La Llorona Unfabled: Stories to (Re)tell To Little Girls <2011>
Digital Mural Project: Ana Teresa Fernandez <2011>
Mural Project: Jesse Hernandez & Victor Quiñones <2011>
Exhibition: "Cultura & Old School Ways" <2011>
Jot@s, Studs, Fa'afafines, and Homothugs to the 2nd Spirit <2011>
Digital Mural Project: Neil Rivas <2011>
Exhibition: "Home After Dark" <2011>
Exhibition: Studio 24 - "Losing Count - Cuentas Perdidas" <2011>
Exhibition: "Crude Reflections/Cruda Realidad" <2011>
Digital Mural Project: City Studio <2011>
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Galeria de la Raza welcomes the Royal Chicano Air Force for a visual and academic lesson of utmost importance. Scholar Ella Diaz shares her research on the how the RCAF’s guerrilla-style performance exists within the larger framework of the Chicano/a Movement History. Following is Stephanie Sauer’s short film The Ancient Documentaries of Southside Park, in which Sauer and Diaz act as archaeologists in search of the RCAF scrolls of ancient Mesoamerican ceremonies, including sacred artifacts which contain the knowledge to heal cultural wounds. Signed and limited edition first printings of Jose Montoya’s graphic cuento, El Chale Gallego y’l Xorty, will also be available.


In examining photographs and other images of the Royal Chicano Air Force’s forty-year performance of a Chicano air force, scholar Ella Diaz argues that this historic visual arts collective performed a “necessary theater.” Exploring the humor of the “adobe-airplane-flying” pilots of Aztlán, Diaz also investigates the more serious aspects of the RCAF’s guerilla-style performance and its place in the Chicano/a Movement and American history. Diaz received The Distinguished Dissertation Award from the College of William & Mary in 2010 for her scholarship on the Royal Chicano Air Force. She is a visiting lecturer at the San Francisco Art Institute.


Join world renowned archeologist La Stef (Stephanie Sauer) and her assistant Miss Ella (Ella Diaz) as they scour Sacramento in search of the sacred scrolls of the Royal Chicano Air Force. Rumored to be buried somewhere in the city, the scrolls document the area’s first mesoamerican ceremonies as reinterpreted by local elders, scholars and members of the RCAF in an attempt to heal some bad cultural wounds. View trailer here; featuring José Montoya as José Montoya, camera work by Samuel Quiñones, musical score by Esteban Villa and Bix Beiderbecke. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the film thanks to the generous folks who made the Kickstarter campaign a success. Film made possible by a grant from the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission. Sauer’s forthcoming book, The Accidental Archives of the Royal Chicano Air Force, was selected by Presidential Inaugural Poet Elizabeth Alexander for The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Fellowship in Writing. More here info at


COPILOT PRESS is proud to announce the release of two exclusive artist books by founding members of The Royal Chicano Air Force. Published in book forms that are organic to their unique content, these Copilot Press books are originally designed and bound by hand by Stephanie Sauer in limited editions of 300. El Chale Gallego y’l Xorty [José Montoya, 2010], an (almost) silent graphic cuento composed entirely of Montoya’s signature napkin sketches, follows two vatos from New Mexico and their dog. Laced with humorous and historic undertones, the loose narrative unfolds inside a traditional codex. Features locally printed letterpress covers and offset printed interiors. Read more in the summer edition of Rain Taxi. The Noun Painter [Esteban Villa, 2008] maps the RCAF General’s daily Sacramento route through his famous five-minute sketches. Published as a deck of flash cards, the book features 36 ‘flight maneuvers’ in both full color and black and white. On the reverse side of each card is a portion of a map that corresponds to Maestro Villa’s handwritten key and playfully invites you to become an RCAF cartographer. This book is offset printed with support from the Art Institute of Chicago and remains on permanent display at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Publishers Gallery.