Gaspar Enriquez is a Chicano Texas artist who embraces what puro corazón can do to conquer early disadvantages of language and economics. His art asks us to perceive our fellows with clarity and without bigotry.
He earned a BA in art from the University of Texas–El Paso in 1970 and an MA in metals from New Mexico State University in 1985. He inspired art students at El Paso’s Bowie High School for thirty-three years, until his retirement in 2002. He received the Father Rahm Segundo Barrio Person of the Year Award 2016, served on the TCA Visual Arts Advisory Panel from 1991 to 1992, was awarded a Mid-America Arts Alliance Fellowship in 1994, and juried a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Fellowship’s Advisory Panel in 1999.
Gaspar’s dramatic portraits range from works on paper of writer Rudolfo Anaya and artists Luis Jimenez and John Valadez, to twenty-four-foot-high illustrations for Rudolfo Anaya’s Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez. No matter their size, his attention-catching paintings reveal his subjects’ dignity. Museums purchasing Gaspar’s work include the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, Tucson Museum of Art, El Paso Museum of Art, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, and the Albuquerque Museum of Art. His work was part of Chicano Art/Resistance and Affirmation, curated by the Wight Art Gallery at UCLA, which toured museums all over the United States.
Author photo: Phyllis Price