Friday, February 08, 2013

Legacy Project - Desperado Events and Reviews

 Museo de las Americas

[from the Museo website]

The Legacy Project
Curated by Maruca Salazar
Museo de las Americas, 861 Santa Fe Dr, Denver, CO 80204
February 7, 2013 – May 26, 2013

Long before Chicano art was embraced as a true artistic expression, this group of artists and thinkers planted seeds of a new world order and through their vision established the importance and the role of hybrid society in the new Millennium.

This exhibit commemorates the artistic legacy of a generation of Chicano artists and the cultural contributions of Luis and Martha Abarca to the Denver Community.

Contributing Artists: John Encinias, John Flores, Ernie Gallegos, Arlette Lucero, Stevon Lucero, Carlos Martinez, Emanuel Martinez, Daniel Salazar, Carlos Sandoval, Fransico Zuñiga.

Thank you to the Abarca Family for lending art work to the exhibit.


A quick report from the opening night reception of this important and historical exhibit.

An overflow crowd enjoyed typical opening night munchies, but the real feast hung on the walls or decorated gallery stands:  a banquet for the eyes made of a wondrous mix of beautiful, evocative paintings, sensuous sculptures, and indelible photographs. The curator of the exhibit, and director of the Museo, Maruca Salazar, surveyed the scene like a proud mamá.  Indeed, the art and artists were all part of the large Denver Chicano/a art family that dates back to at least the World War II years, and that came into its own in the dynamic sixties and seventies. Many of the artists from those years, included in the exhibit, were on hand to talk about their art, reminisce about the early, almost mythical years, and to explain in glorious detail the latest and newest projects. Adrianna and Marco Abarca represented their parents, Luis and Martha Abarca, who were responsible for preserving much of the art but who also supported, encouraged, and collected these artists and their works. Progressive thinking on the cultural front back when such thinking was unheard of, risky, or even frowned on by the cultural gurus of the day. Can we say that those days of marginalization are over? The impressed crowd at the Museo on Thursday night would certainly agree. We celebrated our history, contemplated the future, and enjoyed another lively evening in Denver's Santa Fe Arts District.

The artists gather around Maruca Salazar

Event Schedule - For Desperado: A Mile High Noir

I've been lining up appearances to spread the word about my next book, Desperado: A Mile High Noir (Arte Público Press, March, 2013).  Here's the list so far. There will be more - if you have suggestions for events, book stores, etc., pass them on to me.

March 22:   Left Coast Crime Conference, Cheyenne Mountain Resort, Colorado Springs, CO

                    9:00 - 9:45 AM   Chills on the Mean Streets: Thrillers
                    1:00 - 1:45 PM    Good Guys in Black Hats: The Antihero

April 3:        "The Story Behind the Story: How do Writers do Research for Fiction Writing?"
                    Sponsored by the Denver Post, with fellow writers Sandra Dallas and Mark Stevens
                    Time and Location TBA

April 11:      Tattered Cover Book Store (Colfax, Denver)
                    7:30 PM   Reading and Signing

April 20:      Colorado Authors Open House, Longmont (CO) Public Library
                    1:00 - 3:00 PM

May 11:        Pasadena Lit Fest, Pasadena, CA

And last but certainly not least, here are two blurbs/reviews from fellow writers Emma Pérez and Tim Z. Hernandez that have been added to the Desperado gratitude list. For earlier quotes of praise, see the post about Desperado at this link.

Once again, the compelling, pull-no-punches style that Manuel Ramos is widely known for is what makes this gripping, modern corrido of a story the type of book you can’t put down until the last page. Set against the mile high city, where the thin air alone can play mind-games on a person, Gus Corral, a pathetic and unlikely protagonist, embarks on a quest to find out who killed his old high school friend. What ensues is a search that takes the reader down a road wrought with greed, sex and corruption -- leaving the after-burn of any great thriller-mystery, except that this one comes from a distinctly Chicano flame, as unpredictable and American as the genre itself."
Tim Z. Hernandez, author of Breathing, In Dust

"Desperado: A Mile High Noir, is a vivid, page-turning, gritty crime story about tenacious Gus Corral, who consistently gets caught up in schemes he never bargained for. Manuel Ramos offers the historically Chicano neighborhood of North Denver as backdrop and Gus is the in-between guy negotiating the past and seeing the future grip all that was once home. He’s the good-looking, self-effacing, dedicated Chicano who’s trying to make a living in his ex-wife’s thrift store but trouble inevitably finds him and he must prove that he’s neither murderer nor thief. His bold sisters, Corinne and Max, are a perfect complement as they help him dodge the police and criminals. Ramos' writing is precise, clear, witty and hard to put down. Anyone who is interested in writing crime fiction can learn significantly from reading Desperado. And anyone who wants a first-rate, vibrant read with twists and turns will appreciate Ramos’ mile high noir."
Emma Pérez, author of Gulf Dreams and Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory

That's all, folks.


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