Colorado Creatives

100 Colorado Creatives: Jerry Vigil

#23: Jerry Vigil

Colorado's robust Chicano arts community is well-known for both preserving and repackaging cultural traditions in modern contexts. It's a part of our regional history, after all -- a history that runs 500 years deep, from a time long before the Mile High City was even a speck on the map -- and it's beautiful, as well: joyfully folkloric, colorful and spiritual. And Jerry Vigil, a Colorado santero and muertos scholar now living in Colorado Springs, is more than a poster boy for this vein of art. Rather, under the moniker of Team Muertos, he's an innovator with a sharp sense of humor, whose museum-worthy Dia de los Muertos figures take on modern angles and tones...while making us laugh, a valuable gift. We asked Vigil to bring his culture to the table in a 100CC questionnaire.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Tony Garcia

If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

That's a tough one, scientifically, artistically and design-wise, I would love to collaborate with Leonardo Da Vinci. Running neck and neck with Da Vinci, I would find it challenging and rewarding were I able to work with Bob Cassilly, the creative brain trust behind the City Museum in St. Louis! That place is a mecca of imagination! If you have not heard of the City Museum, it is well worth the time to check out the many videos on YouTube, or actually go there.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

There are a few people out there beyond the walls that interest me. Director Ridley Scott, and sculptor Ray Villafane, but I find the new Pope to be very interesting. Dragging the church into the 21st century is no small thing! It would be a fascinating thing to be in charge of all that priceless art, too!

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

I don't think I can answer that question. Art, for most, is a wonderful creative process. We then offer our art up for public consumption. Somewhere in the public consumption, the media exposure and marketing art trends are created and then emulated. The work, of course, has to be good and second, unique, to have a chance. Do I think some stuff out there isn't noteworthy? Yes, but if you know what's crap, you have the bottom of the spectrum to judge the good stuff from. Besides, you can really piss some people off when you say how lame Cristo's stuff is. (You like how I worked that in anyway, huh?)

Continue reading for more from Jerry Vigil.
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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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