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Lesson Plans

Moroles Answers!

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Elizabeth Reese (reese)
Mon, 28 Oct 1996 21:25:59 CST6CDT

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

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


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!