Arte Américas will kick off its exhibition of celebrated artist José Montoya’s “Resonant Valley” with a free reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday.
“We are thrilled to welcome José Montoya’s spirit back to the Central Valley through this exhibition,” said Arte Américas Executive Director Arianna Chavez in a news release. “His work is a tremendous reflection of the unique creative culture that exists here. José Montoya’s Resonant Valley is an opportunity for visitors to experience Montoya’s ingenuity and legacy, through it, we celebrate the role that the people of the Central Valley had in representing Chicano culture artistically.”
Watch: Maceo Montoya reads José Montoya’s 1969 poem ‘Resonant Valley’
Said Carissa Garcia, the exhibition’s co-curator: “This exhibition is a homecoming for José Montoya, who was largely influenced by the landscape, people, and power of the San Joaquin Valley. This is an opportunity to reintroduce his prolific art, poetry, and activism to a new generation of poets and artists that are still producing artwork here.”
Resonant Valley is an intimate retrospective of José Montoya’s visual art and poetry, curated in collaboration with Richard Montoya and the Montoya Family Trust. The exhibit is a collection of more than 700 works on paper, as well as personal items reflecting his connections to the Central Valley.
José Montoya (1932-2013) was a leading figure in Chicano and Latinx Art. He was born in New Mexico and came to the San Joaquin Valley in the 1940s with his family for field work. They lived in farm labor camps in towns such as Delano, Hanford, Laton, Parlier, and Fowler.
Art critics describe Montoya as the embodiment of the urgent, resourceful, and multifaceted art of the Chicano Movement era and beyond. Known for his sense of humor and irony, Montoya inspired and educated many generations of artists in the rebellious/activist/avant-garde Chicano tradition.
Special Programming Scheduled for Exhibit
Arte Américas also is hosting programming tied to the exhibit such as artist talks, workshops, and community events. The events are designed to provide visitors with an opportunity to engage with the themes and ideas presented in Montoya’s artwork. Among them: assertions of Chicano identity and dignity and community advocacy.
Arte Américas will display Resonant Valley through Nov. 26. The art gallery and cultural museum is at 1630 Van Ness Ave. in downtown Fresno.