Janina Lopez studies contemporary Latinx art and art of the Chicano movement. Her current research focuses on the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF), an artist collective active in Sacramento, CA from 1969 to the present. Her MA paper situates the RCAF’s mural projects in Sacramento within a larger narrative about the use of public space and Chicano/a/x presence in Northern California. More broadly, her research interests include border art and the built environment of the border as a facet of mass incarceration; the role of the built environment and urban planning in public memory creation; and collaborative artist practices, particularly in printmaking and muralism, across Northern California.
Janina joined HAA in 2019 as a Hot Metal Bridge Post-baccalaureate fellow and joined HAA’s PhD program in 2020. In the summer of 2020, she worked as a fellow at Philadelphia-based Monument Lab, facilitated through Pitt’s Humanities Engage Summer Immersive fellowship program, where she contributed to the development of a database of art at and near the U.S.-Mexico border. Janina earned her undergraduate degree in art history at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS) in 2019. At CSUS, she worked extensively with the university’s art collection, co-curated an exhibition based on the collection, and taught supplemental art history courses through the CSUS Peer and Academic Resource Center.