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Decolonizing California Missions: From Euro-American to Indigenous Perspectives
St Raphael Image
Saint Raphael Archangel (early nineteenth century. Oil on canvas). Mission Santa Inés, Solvang, California


Join us for this special program in the APPSI Lifelong Learning Series, which will critically examine an iconic element of California regional identity: the Franciscan missions.

This program aims to deepen and decolonize our understanding of California missions—especially in the realm of the arts. First, Prof. Chiara Rosequist will discuss a selection of mission paintings from the Mission Revival period to those from more recent times. Next, Dr. Yve Chavez will address an important topic that has long been neglected: the history of Indigenous artistic and architectural practice “carried out under great adversity at the missions.”

We will also discuss a series of watercolors of the California Missions that Sister Maria Luisa Wolfskill, SNJM, created for her MFA project. For many years they hung in the hallway behind the chapel in Founders’ Hall. A couple of years ago, we were able to re-mat and re-frame all of them and they are now placed in hallway of the Valley Center for the Performing Arts.

Dr. Yve Chavez (Tongva) is Assistant Professor in the History of Art and Visual Culture at University of California Santa Cruz. Her research interests include historical and contemporary Native American art, colonial Latin American art, and early modern material exchanges.

Chiara Rosequist is an architect and art historian, and serves as Adjunct Professor of Studio Arts and Integrative Studies Across Cultures at Holy Names University of Oakland.

Presented by the HNU Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute (APPSI) in partnership with the Integrative Studies Across Cultures program and the Office of Mission Integration. This program will be co-chaired by Sr. Carol Sellman, SNJM, Vice President for Mission Integration, and Dr. Chiho Sawada, Associate Professor of Politics & History and Executive Director of APPSI.