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    Santa Paula Art Museum Celebrates 25 Years of the De Colores Art Show with “Sanctuary/Santuario”

    Santa Paula Art Museum Celebrates 25 Years of the De Colores Art Show with “Sanctuary/Santuario”
    Andrea Vargas, acrylic on wood panel

    SANTA PAULA, CA – This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the “De Colores Art Show.” The show’s founder and curator, Xavier “Big X” Montes, chose “Sanctuary/Santuario” as the theme for this year’s milestone exhibitionThe exhibit will be on display at the Santa Paula Art Museum, where the show has been hosted annually since 2010. In responding to the theme of the show, thirty-one artists representing Ventura, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties have interpreted the idea of “sanctuary” in ways that are all together personal, political, spiritual, and relevant to our times. The show will open with a premiere party on Saturday, September 15, 2018, from 2:00pm to 6:00pm at the Santa Paula Art Museum. Guests of the event will enjoy poetry readings, Folklórico dancers from Inlakech Cultural Arts Center in Oxnard, and music by Cali-Mex band “Los Fabulocos,” as well as Xavier Montes and his De Colores music students. Admission to the premiere party is free for everyone.

    Heriberto Luna, acrylic on wood

    Montes chose “Sanctuary/Santuario” as the theme for his twenty-fifth show as a way tohonor the many men, women and families who have risked their lives crossing the border – for some many borders – in order to come to the United States. “They have come seeking sanctuary and political asylum,” he says, “in search of a safe haven from crimes committed against them in their home countries, or to improve the conditions in which they live, which is a right that belongs to every human being. This includes DACA students and their families who have struggled and continue to struggle to stay in this country.” Artists featured in the show will include Michael Amescua, Judy Baca, Jacqueline Biaggi, David Rivas Botello, Bob Carson, Oscar Castillo, Gayel Childress, Ray Cirerol, Fabian Debora, Ricardo Flores, Lalo Garcia, Margaret Garcia, Ignacio Gomez, Dolores Haro, Wayne Healy, Sergio Hernandez, Silvia Huerta, Heriberto Luna, Mike Molina, Xavier Montes, Ricardo Morales-Flores, Rick Ortega, Angela Ortiz, Christina Ramos, Sylvia Raz, Mario Trillo, Manuel Unzueta, Veronica Valadez, Andrea Vargas, Doreen Villanueva, and J. Michael Walker. The exhibition will be on view September 15, 2018, through November 4, 2018. 

    The De Colores Art Show was founded by Xavier Montes, a Santa Paula native, in 1992. After receiving his B.A. in studio art and a teaching credential from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Xavier returned to Santa Paula in 1983 to care for his beloved aunt who had helped to raise him. He has remained in Santa Paula ever since. As an accomplished Latinx artist and musician, Montes realized that there were no venues in which to exhibit his art in his hometown. Xavier wanted to give back to his community and began to look for places to exhibit his art and the art of other Latinx artists. 

    Silvia Huerta, pen ink watercolor

    Xavier’s group show began as a one-day art exhibit at the Santa Paula Train Depot. It was exhibited there for four consecutive years with the support of the Santa Paula Society of the Arts, especially Linda Gruber and Virginia Gunderson. In its fifth year, Montes was invited to exhibit the show at the California Oil Museum by the museum’s executive director, Mike Nelson. It was also transformed from a one-day event to a one-month show. The California Oil Museum was home to the exhibit for several years.

    The De Colores Art Show moved to the Santa Paula Art Museum when that Museum opened in 2010. There the show was able to grow even larger and be displayed for a longer period of time each year. Montes was also invited to become a member of the Museum’s board. Under his guidance, the “De Colores Art Collection,” a sub-collection of the Museum’s permanent art collection, was established. The Santa Paula Art Museum says it is honored to host the De Colores Art Show on its twenty-fifth anniversary and to exhibit the works of so many influential Southern California artists.

    The Santa Paula Art Museum encompasses two historic buildings located at 117 N 10th Street and 123 N 10th Street in downtown Santa Paula. The Museum features rotating exhibitions of vintage and contemporary art, art classes for children and adults, artist talks and demonstrations, musical performances, a gift shop and more. Regular museum hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm, and Sunday from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. Regular admission is $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors, and free for students and museum members. For more information, please contact the Museum at (805) 525-5554, or visit

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