Avenue 50 Studio Board of Directors 2013


Lara Medina, President

Professor Medina is an educator who holds a Doctor of Philosophy in American History, a Master of Arts in Theology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Combined Social Sciences.  She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chicano/a Studies, California State University at Northridge since 1998.  She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Faculty Research and Creativity Grants from CSUN.  Professor Medina has been a Board Member since 2008.

David Stowe, Secretary

Mr. Stowe has been involved in the California workers’ compensation insurance industry since 1976 for State Compensation Insurance Fund.  He has worked as a field services representative and an assistant claims manager.  Along with his wife, Margarita, Mr. Stowe has been an avid collector and support of the arts in Northeast LA.  He has been a Board Member since 2008.

Raoul De la Sota, Director

Raoul De la Sota has had a 43-year history of lecturing and travel programming, starting with his 1964 Fulbright Fellowship in Peru, South American, up to his curation of the “Spirits of Los Angeles” exhibition at the LA Municipal Art Gallery.  He has been an exhibiting artist for over 44 years.  Since 1967 Mr. De la Sota has been a Professor of Art at LA City College.  He has been on the Board of the Avenue 50 Studio since 2004.

Vanessa Acosta, Director

As owner-travel program coordinator for Cultural Arts Tours and Workshops, Ms. Acosta has coordinated tours primarily to Mexico and Guatemala since 1999.  She is also an Ethno botanical Gardens docent for the Southwest Museum’s collaboration with the Arroyo Seco Museum/Science Magnet School.  Ms. Acosta has been a Board Member since 2007.

Sybil Venegas, Director

Curator, art historian and professor of Chicano Studies at East Los Angeles College, Sybil Venegas has held that position since 1979.  She was Department Chair of Chicano Studies from 1996 to the present.  Professor Venegas received her MA in Art History at UCLA in 1993, and an MA in Chicano Studies at San Jose State University.  She currently lives in the Montecito Heights area of Los Angeles.  Professor Venegas has been a Board Member since 2010.

Ulises Diaz, Director

For the past eleven plus years, Ulises Diaz has been involved in the arts in a variety of capacities.  As an artist, designer, planner and administrator.  He is a founding member of Adobe LA, an activist collaboration of artists, architects and designers who address the values of LA’s evolving multicultural population.  Diaz was the exhibition designer for “Mixed Feelings” at USC’s  Fisher Gallery, both the “Boyle Heights: The Power of Place” and "Common Ground: The Heart of Community" exhibits at the Japanese American National Museum.  As an Artist/Architect, shown locally at MoCA in "Urban Revisions: Current Projects in the Public Realm", in "Revelatory Landscapes" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and nationally in "House Rules" at the Wexner Center for the Arts, with his work as part of ADOBE LA in the Smithonian's Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum "Latino-Hispanic Design Archive". Lectures and teaches in architecture, social activism and urbanism internationally.  He has been a Board Member since 2004.

J. Michael Walker, Director

2006-07 C.O.L.A. Fellowship award winner; receiver of Cultural Affairs Department, City of Los Angeles artist award yearly from 1990-93, and again 2000-07; has received commissions from the Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles, the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, and Seattle University, Seattle, Washington.  Has had solo Exhibitions at the National Museum of Catholic Art and History in NYC, at Yale University Institute of Sacred Music, and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, among other venues.  Mr. Walker has been a Board Member since 2004.

Kathy Gallegos, Director and Founder

A Cuban-Puerto Rican-American born in NYC, Ms. Gallegos emigrated to California during the turbulent 60’s.  She became a political activist in the 70-80’s working on a left-wing newspaper in the graphics department.  In the 80’s Ms. Gallegos visited Nicaragua to paint a mural; and twice to Cuba for their international art biennials.  From 1995 to 1996, Ms. Gallegos lived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras exploring the art of Central America.  Her social and cultural activism led to her founding the Avenue 50 Studio championing issues of social responsibility.  Since 2000, she has been the Director of the Avenue 50 Studio.