Thank you to Empowerment Congress of Doña Ana County for giving me this amazing opportunity to work with students from Anthony, NM, through the DescolonizArte fund. And much thanks to their youth coordinator, Celina, for everything. As a group, we established el Colectivo Justicia Girasol. These young learners wanted to learn about social justice through a frontera lens. All of our “classes” took place online, and they were asked to create their own authentic pieces of art-all for public display. Some of the students wanted to address the murder of Vanessa Guillén, but they were allowed to paint whatever they wanted. I guided them virtually and it was such a good experience. It wasn’t easy since covid didn’t allow us to meet face-to-face but we got it done!
My particular piece is of Góyą́ń – a legendary Chiricahua Apache who fought alongside with Geronimo within the borderlands including Chihuahua, New Mexico and Arizona. She was known for her bravery when she avenged her husband’s death by seducing and killing his murderer. Mujer Chingona.
Brining a little sunshine to the barrio-allowing dark corners to come to life. That is how we resist. Behind the mural sits a dead garden, dried out by the City of El Paso. En un rinconcito de Chuco. Gracias a Doña Romelia Mendoza por sus consejos y sabiduría. Aquí están sus girasoles. Genial. #elpasoartist #elpaso #queerart #arteyresistencia #girasoles🌻 #chuco #chucotown #chucosunflowers
So many good memories of advising young adults as demonstrated by the song below. I didn’t have anything to do with the creation of the song, but it somehow ended up in my external drive. Working with college students has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Passion for many things runs through my veins, but I always gravitate to art, justice and working with young adults. I am manifesting this energy back into the world. A lot of energy and creativity goes into workshop planning, and I am excited to soon start offering my artistic educator services – focusing on art and justice. Who could use José Montoya workshop?
I was invited to speak with Marina Monsisvais for KTEP’s State of the Arts. We talked a little about my background in social justice and some of the current projects I’ve been working on. I’m grateful to Marina for this opportunity.