A Finding Aid to the Nora Chapa Mendoza Papers, circa 1963-2013, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.mendnora
Creators:
Mendoza, Nora Chapa
Dates:
circa 1963-2013
Languages:
Multiple languages
Most of the collection is in English; some records are in Spanish.
Physical Description:
4.1 Linear feet
1.78 Gigabytes
Repository:
The papers of painter and educator Nora Chapa Mendoza measure 4.1 linear feet and 1.78 gigabytes, and date from circa 1963-2013. Biographical material includes résumés and awards, as well as other miscellaneous biographical material. Correspondence is mostly professional in nature and reflects her relationships with artists galleries and other professional organizations throughout her career, incl. Personal business records document select exhibitions and relationships with galleries such as the Partners Gallery, and include artwork inventories, consignments, and pricelists. Project files document specific projects including commissions and educational initiatives, as well as key conferences related to international labor relations and indigenous civil rights. Writings include artist statements, lectures and notes and sketches. Printed material documents the career of Nora Chapa Mendoza as well as and the art and Hispanic cultural scenes in Detroit in the form of announcements, clippings, catalogs, magazines and books. Photographic material documents various exhibitions, workshops, conferences, and trips.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter and educator Nora Chapa Mendoza measure 4.1 linear feet and 1.78 gigabytes, and date from circa 1963-2013. Biographical material includes résumés and awards, as well as other miscellaneous biographical material. Correspondence is mostly professional in nature and reflects her relationships with artists galleries and other professional organizations throughout her career, incl. Personal business records document select exhibitions and relationships with galleries such as the Partners Gallery, and include artwork inventories, consignments, and pricelists. Project files document specific projects including commissions and educational initiatives, as well as key conferences related to international labor relations and indigenous civil rights. Writings include artist statements, lectures and notes and sketches. Printed material documents the career of Nora Chapa Mendoza as well as and the art and Hispanic cultural scenes in Detroit in the form of announcements, clippings, catalogs, magazines and books. Photographic material documents various exhibitions, workshops, conferences, and trips.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged in 7 series:
  • Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1963-2010 (0.2 Linear Feet; Box 1)
  • Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1972-2012 (0.8 Linear Feet; Box 1)
  • Series 3: Personal Business Records, circa 1970s-2011 (0.2 Linear Feet; Box 2)
  • Series 4: Project Files, circa 1980-2007 (0.3 Linear Feet; Box 2, 1.78 Gigabytes; ER01)
  • Series 5: Writings, circa 1970s-2010 (0.2 Linear Feet; Box 2)
  • Series 6: Printed Material, circa 1970s-2013 (2.1 Linear Feet; Boxes 2-4, Oversize 5)
  • Series 7: Photographic Material, circa 1975-2010 (0.3 Linear Feet; Box 4)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Nora Chapa Mendoza (1932-) is a painter and educator in Detroit, Michigan.
Mendoza was born to Mexican parents in Weslaco, Texas. Raised in the American Southwest, Nora was encouraged at an early age to pursue her interest in painting, and in 1953 she relocated from Galveston, Texas to Michigan to pursue a career as an artist. Mendoza studied art at the Detroit Center for Creative Studies and Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. Her art education included instruction from Michigan painters Richard Koslow and Ljubo Biro. In 1978, Mendoza, along with a group of other artists formed Nuestras Artes de Michigan, with chapters established in Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Lansing. She was also a founding member of the Michigan Hispanic Cultural/Art Association. In In 1981, she opened her own art gallery in Detroit, Galeria Mendoza.
While Mendoza's painting styles have ranged from abstraction to realism, messages of civil rights and Chicano identity have been a constant throughout her career as an artist. As an artist and activist, there is a strong connection between the subject matter of her art and the causes she has been active in including migrant workers and fair labor practices, as well as issues of indigenous identity and civil rights. Nora Mendoza is also a certified elder in Kanto de la Tierra, an intertribal council dedicated to praying for earth's healing.
Later in her career Nora Chapa Mendoza expanded her practice from painting to include restoration and mural projects. Notably she was one of eight artists that participated in the renovation of Detroit's Music Hall in 1996. In 1999 she was named Michigan's artist of the year and received the Governor's award for her continued service to Michigan and Southwest Detroit in particular. Nora Chapa Mendoza has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, and her work is included in many prominent private, corporate, and university collections. Mendoza continues to live and work in West Bloomfield, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, where she continues to teach art workshops and other outreach activities.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Ryan Evans in 2019.
Author
Ryan Evans
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated in 2018 by Nora Chapa Mendoza.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Nora Chapa Mendoza Papers, circa 1963-2013. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.

Related Materials
Nora Chapa Mendoza papers are also located at the University of Notre Dame, Institute for Latino Studies, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Mexican American women Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mexican American artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- Michigan Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Michigan -- Detroit Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/