When Montes founded the show in honor of the birth date of the late labor leader Cesar Chavez, and with a special nod to activist Dolores Huerta, he opened the first exhibit at the Depot.
De Colores is a juried show that celebrates Latino heritage, culture and icons. Over the years the show expanded to an arts festival that included music and dancing. In recent years the show returned to its roots as a celebration of Latino culture through painting, sculpture, collage and mixed media; the 20th anniversary De Colores exhibit-curated by Andrea Vargas-Mendoza-is displayed at the Santa Paula Museum of Art through February 23.
Montes said he was “Caught off guard,” by the council proclamation. “I didn’t know what was going on and I am very humbled...thank you very much.”
“Thank you very much for the work you do,” said Councilman Ralph Fernandez. “If anyone works under the radar it is you...and you are always there, working the kids at the museum, at the library. We very much appreciate the work you do,” that is also a tribute to Montes’ dedication.
“...you’ve brought a lot of positive notoriety to the community,” said Councilman Bob Gonzales who noted Montes work is done without personal fanfare.
“Thanks big guy,” said Mayor Rick Cook. “This is a long time coming...”