Super Saturday: De Colores Art Show debuts, Ag Museum to host concert
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: October 26, 2012
It’s will be a Super Saturday in Santa Paula, with two events celebrating the arts and music.
It started with only a few paintings and a dream, but now De Colores is celebrating its 19th year of showcasing vibrant art and traditional music for the whole community. The opening reception for the 19th Annual De Colores Art Show will be held Saturday, October 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Santa Paula Art Museum/Jeanette Cole Art Center, 117 N. 10th Street.
The reception will include refreshments and hors d’oeuvres catered by La Cabaña and musical entertainment by Angels on Harps. Admission to the reception is $10 for all guests. Students, as always, are admitted free. Reservations are recommended.
According to SPAM Executive Director Jennifer Heighton, “The De Colores Art Show features vibrant and meaningful artworks that reflect both traditional and contemporary Latino themes,” and the reception offers the opportunity to meet the artists featured in the show.
Artists from throughout Southern California exhibit their work in De Colores, which was started by acclaimed artist Xavier “Big X” Montes as tribute to the late farm labor leader Cesar Chavez and activist Dolores Huerta. Montes, a Santa Paula native, is also a noted harpist who last year announced that the 18th De Colores would be his last.
“Well, this is the first year that the De Colores Art Show will continue without me... and that’s fine!” laughed Montes, who said the work and stress of putting on the annual show - including the aggressive fundraising - finally got to him. He had already cut back: De Colores had started small and over the years, with the help of Carmen Guerrero, blossomed into a full festival including outdoor stages with acclaimed dancers and musicians, food booths, a Mercado, and other attractions highlighting Latino culture while showcasing the art.
In recent years De Colores was scaled back and found a permanent home at the museum, where Guerrero donated the first piece - a work by Montes that is the celebration’s logo - for what became the De Colores Collection. “In any case,” said Montes, “it was a wonderful experience; I learned a lot throughout the 18 years, and now Andrea Vargas is at the helm.”
Vargas is also an acclaimed artist who has been widely exhibited at the Silvia White Gallery, Ventura County Museum of History & Art, Santa Paula Art Museum, Buena Ventura Gallery, Vagabundo Gallery of Oaxaca, Mexico and the Oakland Museum, among others.
Montes is especially looking forward to Saturday’s De Colores opening reception: not only will he be performing with his students, Angels on Harps, but he also plans to stage more musical entertainment later after he and several of his guitar students - “Some of my best!” - make an appearance at the Agriculture Museum of Ventura County.
Known internationally for their son Jarocho music, Conjunto Hueyapan is appearing at the museum (926 Railroad Ave., just blocks from SPAM) from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Admission is only $5 and seating is first come first served.
Montes is excited about the two major events in Santa Paula Saturday as well as their timing and proximity to each other. “After the De Colores reception folks will have just enough time to eat dinner in our historic Downtown at any number of restaurants, literally walk downtown, then walk to the Ag Museum!”
The museum concert will also feature dance by Ballet Folklorico Mestizo from Oxnard. And Montes is planning even more entertainment: “I am currently working on having a jam session of musicians, an outdoor Fandango, dancing at night, in the Gazebo area, with its wonderful lighting and perfect setting... we’ll see.”
For more information about De Colores, visit www.santapaulaartmuseum.org. For more information about the Agricultural Museum and Saturday’s concert, visit