Elder Statesmen

For more than thirty years, the Chicano Humanities and Arts Council has been a cornerstone of the local Latino community and culture. “Metarealist” painter Stevon Lucero has been there from the beginning. Along with a few other artists — Al Sanchez, Jerry Jaramillo — who still show at CHAC, once the only gallery on Santa Fe Drive, Lucero represents the old guard, the mural-painting activists who rose from the westside streets in a town then more culturally divided. Each year, the group comes together around Cinco de Mayo to exhibit together — sometimes, as they will again this year, bringing in a younger group of artists who exemplify the CHAC spirit. The old and the new will color the walls of CHAC tonight when The Wild Bunch, featuring a variety of work — from traditional (and not-so-traditional) santos and muertos to abstract and symbolic paintings — by Lucero, Sanchez, Jaramillo, Robert Maestas, Carlos Sandoval, Rob Yancey, Michael Canada, Robert Martinez and Jerry Vigil, opens today. “We thought we should do something with the older guys who are still here and the new guys coming up,” Lucero explains, “and we’re taking no prisoners. At first we thought we could have some fun and dress up as banditos, but some people thought that sounded too rowdy. So we thought of the movie, and of ourselves as a bunch of old-timers here doing their last big show. Well, maybe not. But things got bigger and bigger, and now there are nine of us in a real diversified show.”

Attend a reception for The Wild Bunch from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 6, at CHAC, 772 Santa Fe Drive; the show continues through May 28. Get details at www.chacweb.org or call 303-571-0440.
Wednesdays-Saturdays. Starts: May 4. Continues through May 28, 2011