Mexican American Heritage
New Exhibit at the California Oil Museum

On Sunday December 7th, the California Oil Museum in conjunction with the students of Santa Paula High School’s Mexican American Studies Course will be premiering its new exhibit, Mexican American Heritage. Running through February 24th 2009, this new exhibit will be available for viewing every Wednesday through Sunday 10am-4pm. Opening reception will be December 7, from 3-5pm featuring dancers, music and crafts. Admission to the museum is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $1 for youth, and free for members.

Santa Paula High School’s Mexican American Studies Course is a college preparatory class taught by Karen Calhoun that emphasizes the following three components: Mexican History, Mexican American History, and culture. With students selecting topics across this spectrum -- from the Aztecs, the Spanish Conquest, and the Mexican Revolution to Diego Rivera, Zapatistas, the Zoot Suit Riots, the Chicano Movement, and recent hate crimes against Latinos -- the exhibit wonderfully captures all three of these elements.

While many students are presenting issues close to their heart, other students admit that the project has helped them learn about things they previously knew little about. And while many of the exhibit boards present topics that are sources of pride for the students such as Ballet Folklorico and Mexican art, many others, especially those dealing with poverty, pollution, corruption, and human rights express concerns of the students and are written with a tone of reflection and even criticism.

“The community will be impressed by our wonderful pictures and facts, it’s for the community” (Jesus Alvarez).

What: “Mexican American Heritage”
Where: California Oil Museum, 1001 East Main Street, Santa Paula
Exhibit Dates: December 7, 2008 – February 24th, 2009
Opening Reception: Sunday, December 7, 2008, 3-5pm
Museum Hours: Wednesday through Sunday from 10 to 4
Admission: $4 Adults, $3 Seniors and $1 Youth, Free for Members
Museum Phone: 805-933-0076 Museum Website: