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As he lay bleeding in a Vietnamese rice paddy, his right arm shredded by shrapnel, artist Jesse Treviño realized that he wanted to honor and preserve his family and his cultural heritage through his artwork. After receiving a Purple Heart and undergoing two years of rehabilitative therapy and the amputation of his right forearm—including his painting hand—Treviño enrolled in San Antonio College, determined to learn how to draw and paint with his left hand.
In 1974 he produced the impressive La Historia Chicana, a one hundred-foot-long work embracing six centuries of Mexican American heritage now on display inside the Sueltenfuss Library at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. Since then, Treviño has completed many more paintings and public artworks, including Spirit of Healing, the nine-story hand-cut tile mosaic that graces Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital in downtown San Antonio. His work has been collected by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, and the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Anthony Head’s sensitive and elegant biography now offers readers an intimate view of the artist’s life. Head captures Treviño’s determination, artistic vision, and the deep pride in his Chicano heritage that he transmits to the world through his creations.
Spirit: The Life and Art of Jesse Treviño promises to engage and inspire readers with its vivid portrayal of this triumph of art and the human spirit.
About the Author
ANTHONY HEAD has profiled a far-ranging collection of personalities for national and international publications such as Texas Highways, Men’s Edge, and Reader’s Digest for more than thirty years. He lives in San Marcos, Texas.
"The life and art of Jesse Treviño is a story as big and colorful and captivating as Spirit of Healing, Trevino's nine-story, landmark mosaic that adorns the exterior facade of the Children's Hospital of San Antonio. Author Anthony Head has somehow succeeded in capturing that narrative and putting it down on paper. Spirit: The Life and Art of Jesse Treviño, is must-reading for anyone who cares about San Antonio, its arts community, and the city's deep Mexican roots. Above all, this book is a compelling account of a great artist who rose from modest circumstances on the city's Westside and overcame extraordinary adversity to create art and build a legacy that will live on for generations." —Robert Rivard, author of Trail of Feathers: In Search of Philip True, and co-founder of the Rivard Report.
— Robert Rivard
"A well-written, deeply moving story of a tortured man who overcame great challenges to pursue his artistic passions.” —Harriett Denise Joseph, author of From Santa Anna to Selena: Notable Mexicanos and Tejanos in Texas History since 1821
— Harriett Denise Joseph