Malaquias Montoya Biography

Malaquias Montoya




Malaquias Montoya was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1938 and raised in a family of seven in the San Joaquin Valley of California. His parents could neither read nor write Spanish or English, and they worked as farm laborers to support the family. His three oldest siblings didn't progress beyond a seventh grade education, and also worked the fields. When Montoya was ten, his parents divorced. His mother continued to work the fields to support the four children that remained at home so that they could continue their education.

In 1969, Montoya graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. He has lectured and taught at many colleges and universities since that time, including Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley. He was also a Professor at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA for twelve years, and he was Chair of the Ethnic Studies Department for five of those years.

As Director of the Taller de Artes Graficas, in East Oakland, Montoya produced a variety of prints and conducted many community art workshops. He has held a professorship at the University of California, Davis since 1989, teaching in the department of Art and the department of Chicana/o Studies. He spent a semester in 2000 as Visiting Professor in the Art Department at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana where he currently holds the title of Visiting Fellow in the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame.

Montoya teaches silkscreening, poster making, and mural painting with a focus on Chicano history and culture. He is predominantly known for his silkscreen prints, which have been exhibited nationally and internationally. He also produces murals, acrylic paintings, washes and drawings. Historians credit him as one of the founders of the social serigraphy movement in the San Francisco Bay Area in the mid-1960's.