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Lesson Plans

Moroles Answers!

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Elizabeth Reese (reese)
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 12:14:47 CST6CDT

Greetinsg from North Texas! I was finally able to connect with
Jesus... he was in Washington, D.C. for an opening; since he is
on the board there he feels committed to attend such events. He
had been in New York over the weekend for an opening of his
work... busy, busy!

He answered a few of the questions, and we will talk again
tomorrow (12/13) and Monday (12/16) to answer the others, so
KEEP THE QUESTIONS COMING! Many of you emailed your questions
directly to me and that's great: reese.

>From Rebecca Arkenberg:

I have some questions for Jesus Moroles:

Did you take weaving classes at UNT (or elsewhere)? You refer to
the process of weaving, watching the horizontal and vertical
patterns form, in your video transcript. Did you enjoy weaving?
What kind of weavings did you do?

Jesus: No, I didn't do any weavings... but I think I have been
effected by a fascination of African wood carvings... they're
designs, not real weavings, but it's the way they cut the wood,
the way it looks over and under. I never tried (weaving) but I
have been recently reminded of my attraction to them after
seeing them at the Dallas Museum of Art. It's definitely
something I keep coming back to.

ER: Do you go to museums often?

Jesus: Definitely not enough. Actually, I'm afraid of seeing
too much--I know that sounds strange--but I don't want to be
influences by what I see. Like in Italy I didn't watch carvers
so that I could come up with my own ideas and I had a studio by
myself not with everyone working around evryone; I would rather see
more historical work, and that's how I got interested in going
to the museums in the first place. But in the same token I
don't want to do what everyone else is doing. Like I
hybernated, and in Italy I developed something that said
what I wanted to say with the stone carvings.

ER: Nancy Walkup, who visited your Cerillos Cultural Center
last summer, inquired about a story you shared with her group of
Georgia O'Keeffe and rollerskates?

Jesus: Oh yes! Sure! The people who owned the place before
me--Paul and Carol--they were friends with Georgia and Juan
Hamilton and they would come over and visit here and go
rollerskating in the gym. When Georgia got too old to
rollerskate, Juan would rollerskate carrying Georgia in his arms
so she could still feel the movements. So you always get a nice
feeling there of those moments. We have all of those
rollerskates, they were all left here--so we have Georgia's and
Juan's--you know theirs are among all of the skates... and we've
been adding to the collection. During my summer exhibition
James Surls and Charmaine Locke (Texas artists) sat out there and said it was

Hi, Elizabeth...Somehow I missed the interchange of information
concerning the connection between Moroles and G. O'Keeffe. She is
one of my favorite her's so sensual! Do
you think it would be inappropriate to ask Jesus more questions
about his relationship with her and find out more personal
observations of her from his perspective? I wouldn't want to make
him feel bad by asking questions about ANOTHER artist! I would
LOVE to know what her personality was like, how she approached a
painting from the beginning, how she "found" her ideas...anything
little thing he can remember. Thank you for the opportunity to
learn more!!!!! Cya...........Bunki

Jesus: Well, at the time before I bought the school (in
Cerillos) I was looking at a General Store across from her
studio in Abiqui. One of the reasons, besides the place was
too small, I didn't want to be where she was--you know, "oh
that's where Georgia worked-- was because she'd
be an impossible person to follow. So I went south to Cerillos
and coincidentally, Juan Hamilton was looking at the school house
I bought for the (O'Keeffe) Foundation... so we kept running
across each other as I was looking for a space in New Mexico.

I really love a lot of the work--especially some of the things
created in Amarillo-- the whole idea of her riding out into the
dust bowl and painting in her car, stopping and the idea of her driving
her car toward the glow of the city--you know, some of these
paintings of this dark sky and the glow--the whole idea that 80
years ago and doing that kind of thing is very inspirational.
Also being in New York with Stieglitz and around all of the
other artists I think that was very exciting.

ER: In a way, you are creating a similar path for your creative
environment... Texas, New Mexico, New York...

Jesus: I'm trying... and in Europe also.

ER: Now Georgia was directly influenced by one of her art
educators, Arthur Wesley Dow, and you can see direct connections
of his influence in her work. Are there any educators who
directly influenced your work, or who 100 years from now we can
look back and say, "Oh, so-and-so definitely influenced

Jesus: Um... honestly, in school, as far as educators, to me
the educators were everyone the school brought in to do workshops
or lectures... and one of the main is people, Pablo Soleri--in
Arizona. he's a futuristic city planner and builder... and he
has a place north of Phoenix where he's building a city. It's a
philosophy and he has instructors who teach his philosophy and
program and people who go to work there to study it. He was
talking about abstract models and city scapes and environments
and I really related to his philosophy and abstractness of his
philosophy. I even designed my first book after a book of his.

Also, Luis Jimenez--seeing and living and working with him for
a solid year--gave me great insight into the world of, life, and
business of what it's like to be an artist. I did that right
after my BFA and it was like a kind of graduate school for me.
It pushed me forward and propelled me; after one year I felt
like 5 years ahead and after 2 years I felt like 8 years ahead
and so it kept influencing me. I learned what to do and what
not to do, which you can experience mistakes and get a new
philosophy of how you would better do that as you form your own
philosophy. So often it's doing and taking off on those kinds
of experiences.

I think, really, my mentorship was more in junior college (El
Centro in downtown Dallas). That's where for the first time I
was introduced to sculpture, it got me in the door of sculpture.
I had been painting and drawing and feeling very comfortable.
Then I was introduced to ceramics and sculpture and thought...
that's where I started developing ideas and approaches to

And I also choose to go to high school in downtown Dallas (N.R.
Crosier Technical). At the time it was the only high school
that offered any real art. When they closed the school the
teacher went on to teach college, so I think art was being
taught on perhaps a higher level, I don't know.

ER: So even that early you had made a concious decision to
study art?

Jesus: Definitely. Oh, definitely. Ii was brought up early on
art. It was always a concious choice. That's what saved me
from going to a high school in west Dallas where they had fenced
the students in and had metal detectors. Art might have saved
me in that I had this need and want.

That's all the time we had today! I will speak with Jesus
tomorrow morning to answer the other questions I received:

Ask him what he imagines for himself in the future? What are his
goals for future work? What work does he most enjoy personally?
Which work does he consider the best? (from Nancy Walkup)

Dear Mr. Moroles,
In what ways does culture play a part in your thinking,
creating and art production?

Is it possible to have a bicultural perspective?

I was raised in El Paso, Texas and it often seemed
strange to me to be in places that were more northern and less under
the influence of Mexico. How does this aspect of play into your work

Do you ever allow people to visit your art factory?
(from S. Warwick)

Please ask Mr. Moroles about his drawings. I tell my students
that I think drawing is or should be the common link with most
visual arts. Does Mr. Moroles make preliminary, in process, or
summary drawings? Is there was any way we could see his drawings
on the internet? Thank you, Mark Alexander 1-8 Art on the Cart
Lee H. Kellogg School Falls Village, CT 06031


Elizabeth B. Reese
Marcus Fellow