Oral history interview with Jesse Treviño, 2004 July 15-16
Treviño, Jesse, 1946-
Consey, Kevin E.
Draper, William F. (William Franklin)
Clinton, Hillary Rodham
Recuerdos Orales: Interviews of the Latino Art Community in Texas
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 77 pages
Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformated in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 11 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Jesse Treviño conducted 2004 July 15-16, by Cary Cordova, for the Archives of American Art, in San Antonio, Texas.
Treviño discusses his birth in Monterrey, Mexico; moving to San Antonio; being one of 12 children; attending the Art Students League of New York; being drafted into Vietnam; the Mekong Delta; falling into a booby trap and being badly wounded; the long recovery and the subsequent amputation of his right hand; learning to paint with his left hand; his first shows; his "Mi Vida" self-portrait; the numerous poster contests he won as a youth; his art training; the difficulty in organizing Chicano art shows; the relationships with his siblings, particularly his oldest sister, Eva; his Santa Rosa Hospital mural ("Spirit of Healing"); and the importance of public art, particularly murals. Treviño also discusses his Veladora; his early left-handed paintings; the classification of himself as a "Realist"; how he chooses the sites he paints; helping form the Alameda/Smithsonian art center; being invited to talk at veteran's groups and high schools; his early paintings on black canvas; his new public art project on San Antonio's notorious Guadalupe Street; his Wells Fargo Bank mural and its formation; his interest, or lack thereof, in photography; his portraits of Henry B. Gonzales and his mother; his painting, "Mis Hermanos;" his successful one man show at the San Antonio Museum of Art; his relationships with galleries; the rejuvenating qualities of art in poor neighborhoods; his trip to Chile with Hillary Clinton, as part of her First Lady's Convention; being honored at the White House; and how he wants his art to unite people. Treviño also recalls William Draper, Felipe Reyes, Katherine Alsup, Earl Mayan, George Cortex, Gilbert Denman, Kevin Consey, Lionel Sosa, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Jesse Treviño, 2004 July 15-16. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
This interview is part of the series "Recuerdos Orales: Interviews of the Latino Art Community in Texas," supported by Federal funds for Latino programming, administered by the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Jesse Treviño (1946- ) is a painter from San Antonio, Texas. Cary Cordova (1970- ) is an art historian from Austin, Texas.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001