> From: "Elizabeth Reese" <reese>
> Organization: UNT School of Visual Arts
> To: "Nancy Walkup" <walkup>
> Date: Mon, 28 Oct 1996 21:25:59 CST6CDT
> Subject: Moroles Answers!
> Cc: artsednet
> Priority: normal
> Last week, Nancy Walkup wrote:
> Greetings to all:
> I hope by now you have all had a chance to read the interview
> with artist Jesus Moroles on ArtsEdNet. I was intrigued by
> Jesus' comments on the idea of apprenticeship. After he
> graduated from school he served as an apprentice to Luis
> Jimenez for a year (though their work is very different, both
> have works included in the Mexican-American set of MAPS
> prints). Of his year with Jimenez, Jesus said "It was the best
> experience I received in art, living with him all day long and
> evenings and just being an extension of his little finger to do
> whatever he wanted or needed."
> What I find interesting is that, despite this experience, Jesus
> himself intentionally does not hire artists; instead, he trains
> the people he hires to do exactly what he needs. What do you
> And, Jesus, here's a question for you. Have you ever hired
> anyone as a apprentice or did you make the decision not to
> early on? It seems to have been such a positive experience for
> you and I know how generous you are with your time and effort
> where education is concerned.
> Jesus: I decided after my experience and after coming into the
> field that it was better not to hire an apprentice in the same
> field. In other words, when I was with Jimenez I was working
> in stone and abstract and he was working in fiberglass and
> Like when Noguchi apprenticed under Brancusi...
> you know it's like the saying, "...a great oak tree doesn't
> grow under the shade of another..." or something like that....
> The problem is that the person often doesn't get out from under
> the shade...
> The nice thing about not being in the same field or media is
> everything still translates: aesthetics, galleries, museum
> collections, exhibits, lectures... you know, like Jimenez could
> lecture at a museum and I could, too. The apprenticeship
> should be not about ideas, but how things work, like what's the
> work ethic like...
> I think people probably don't know what an apprentice really
> is... you know, it's a long term thing... a minimum of a year
> doing another person's work so that you don't have energy to do
> your own work when you come home at night... I think that it's
> an old term used too loosely today...
> What I do encourage is artist-in-residences... like a few years
> ago John Massey was here... and now a figurative sculptor from
> New Mexico, Ed Beniviente... and we have artist-in-residences
> in Cerillos.. so we do encourage that kind of thing... Next
> will be an artist from Spain who works in metals and
> abstract... so we do encourage young artists but probably in a
> different way (than an apprenticeship).
> ER: Tell me about the Cerillos Cultural Center...
> Jesus: It's abbreviated name is C3 (like C-cubed)... actually,
> I'm doing a web page right now so people can get into it...
> We started it last summer with a summer exhibit and had another
> one just this past summer... It's my New Mexico home, about 3
> miles outside of Santa Fe, in an old high school complex from
> the 1880s... the stadium has WPA bleachers, and the old school
> house is converted into an amphitheatre for outside exhibits
> and performances. There's a great adobe wall which sort of
> encloses the area...
> I started it and it's devoted to showing art from other
> countries, exposing New Mexicans to new ideas... there's an
> artist-in-residence which... is a very selfish way for me to
> meet people from all over the world and introduce them to Santa
> Fe, which influences their work once they get there...
> There will be 2-3 artists from around the world this summer...
> the next exhibition opens in June 1997, with ongoing residences
> and events throughout the year... it's open to the public...
> you know, it's most definitely there for people to meet other
> people and introduce different aesthetics...
> You know, one thing I've been trying to do since I left
> University of North Texas is to duplicate what I had there...
> all of the studio spaces... ceramics, printmaking, painting,
> sculpture... to go in and out of... and lectures, you know,
> like Luis Jimenez, and other wonderful people... once you get
> out of school you start with zero... so I guess I've been
> trying to build back up after beginning with zero... to create
> that atmosphere to continue learning... I want to be able to go
> in and out of different studios... in and out and work
> freely... so I am creating that...
> Elizabeth Reese for Jesus Bautista Moroles
> Marcus Fellow
> ...and remember, YOUR QUESTIONS ARE WELCOME!!!! If you want to
> send me a "private" question for him (I will post the question
> and answer without your name...) send it to reese!
Your generosity towards others is commendable. I feel very
fortunate to have visited both your art factory in Rockport,
Texas, and the Cerrillos Cultural Center outside Santa Fe. The
teachers you welcomed were greatly inspired by your example - I
hope we'll be able to come back again next summer.
I have another question for you: I know you have a fairly
extensive art collection. What contemporary artists do you
Nancy Walkup, Project Coordinator
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
PO Box 5098, University of North Texas
Denton, TX 76203
817/565-3986 FAX 817/565-4867
November 1, 1996; I caught up with Moroles after giving a
lecture in Breckenridge, Colorado...
Jesus: First let me say something about "my generosity"...I'm
always put off by people who turn up a nose or say artists are
too flaky... I try to be on time, like in any other business, and
put my best foot forward... so I'm always giving back to the art
world because it's given me what I have... so I give donations
and time related to the art world... since college I've been on
5 board of trustees...
I do think some artists are burnt out in some ways... there are
so many arts organizations, so many needy... it's hard to say no
to anyone of them, but I think in general artists are a very
ER: And you collect many artists... what contemporary artists
do you admire?
Jesus: In my collection?
Jesus: Oh that's easy! Noguchi, Ed and Nancy Keinholtz,
Joseph Bueys, Rebecca Horn, David Nash-recent pieces actually,
Luis Jimenez, Frank Gery-who's an architect and also does
sculpture, Peter Shire, Eduardo Chillda, Marina Marino, Howard
Bentre, Jose Luis Cueves...
Larry Bell, of course... yeah, that's probably half... Frank
Faulkner, Fritz Scholder... oh gosh... the others...I can't
think right now... is that enough? That's probably half right
there... but you know, I probably have 10 by Jimenez, multiples
of Bells... I try to collect more than one...
I love collecting... it's my downfall; that's why I'm not rich!
I love collecting art and it's not even mine... but you know
it's expensive... but it's a big deal for a young artist to sell
You have to be commited to collecting, though... it's a
priority, a focus, or there's no way you could get this stuff!
I like it because I think it tells about yourself; there's
something about these people and having these pieces around
which sparks something creative in you... and that's why I
ER: So these contemporary artists influence you... What historical
artists influence you?
Jesus: Noguchi, Brancusi-Yeah! Those are two of the
biggies...of course Michelangelo, Eduardo Chillda... who else...
Giacometti, of course, my favorite, and that's a pretty good
Oh! Picasso... and mainly because he's one of those universal
guys... he could do anything... he would try anything... like
ER: Are you one of those "universal guys"?
Jesus: Not yet... I'm trying to work up to it, though. My
philosophy, or game plan, or strategy for succeeding... for
being able to continue to afford to make my art is that I had to
concentrate on one thing before going on to other things... like
my performance pieces, drawings... recent exhibitions include
collages... so I'm really starting to get into doing different
art forms which I really like, but have avoided to not confuse
ER: Which explains why your Cerillos Cultural Center is so
important to you... the different studio spaces...
Jesus: Exactly!!! Exactly. Because not only are there
exhibitions, but real working studio spaces... not just a "pipe
dream." That's actually where I worked on my paper pieces this
In fact, we're making columns right now for the Veterans'
Memorial in Albuquerque... it's a whole park in Albuquerque
they've created for my work...
The first part is an amphitheatre of 100 columns which is a
meeting place... it is defined to take you through the moods a
soldier would go through... so the first part is a meeting
place, the second is a battle... a big granite and stainless
steel piece... and from there I don't know... I've completed the
plans and as they fund raise they will let me know which piece
to start next...
So the columns will be installed before Veterans' Day... and
there will be a big gigantic celebration...
ER: What other openings or events with your work involved are
Jesus: Well on Friday, November 15th there's an opening in
Houston at the Barbara Davis Gallery, from 6-8pm with some very
new pieces... the collages, and some new granite pieces... green
and rainbow colored... I've been looking at these pieces for
over 8 years trying to figure out what to do with them... I look
at them... so they're opening on the 15th....
Elizabeth Reese for Jesus Bautista Moroles