Activist, workingman, writer and painter of animals and people, Jaliscan emigre Arturo Garcia also partners with the Boulder-based Americas Latino Eco Festival as steward of Graficomovil, Mexican artist Artemio Rodríguez’s mini-museum and community printmaking studio on wheels. This summer, Garcia is on the road with Graficomovil, making stops all over the Front Range in preparation for ALEF 2016 in October. Garcia took time out of his busy schedule to answer the 100CC questionnaire.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?
Arturo Garcia: Oh, man, that is a hard question! There are too many admirable figures throughout times in my personal list, but I doubt they would have needed (or wanted) my collaboration. Most geniuses are loners. They need that to develop their genius. But for the fun of answering the question, I would name a few. In art: Michelangelo, DaVinci, Picasso or Alberto Korda. In literature: Cervantes, Steinbeck, Hemingway or Rulfo. In music: Mozart, Chopin or Louis Armstrong.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
“Each head is a different world,” my grandmother used to tell me when we talked about life. In my world, everyone is interesting if I watch with attention. In the world given to me by media, books and such, I would say that many people are doing interesting things. Gastón Saldaña is making people think with his photography, Sunita Narain is fighting for cleaner air, Mussie Serai and his “No one is illegal” campaign is a lifeline priest who helps distressed immigrants and refugees in Europe. Locally, we have our own fighters, whom I admire. Some are: Irene Vilar and her Climate of Hope campaign, Wayne Laws and his fight for human rights, or Zuza Bohley and her selfless dedication to causes that have to do with education [and]ecological, scientific and artistic development.
What's your day job?
Art is my day and night job, but I also work part-time for Citywide Roofing and Exteriors doing their marketing, where I get to apply my art skills and my previous experience as a real-estate broker.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Build common art studios around the world where people could come to create and forget about the turbulences of everyday living — a place where they can visit their own soul and have intimate time with oneness.
Denver (or Colorado), love it or leave it? What keeps you here — or makes you want to leave?
I moved to Colorado eight years ago from Mexico because of its kind, noble and strong spirit — like the bison who once roamed the land. People here are like that. And the land has that feeling as well.
What's the one thing that Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
Establish a housing program that would help artists by making living more affordable and allowing them to work, doing what they were born to do: create.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
I don’t have a favorite. There are a few whom I admire as artists but also as people. Some of those are O’Brien, Ortega and Ocelotl.
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
Paint. And take a step back from too many organizations I am involved with. It’s good to collaborate and give selflessly, but I need to get back to work on my thing.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?
David Garcia Ocelotl.
See work by Arturo Garcia on First Fridays at the Denver Art Society and the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council. Graficomovil’s next public stop will be July 8 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Café Cultura's Art in the Park at La Alma/Lincoln Park. Learn more about Garcia at his website and on Facebook.