In 1977 Jesse Trevino painted “Progreso” as part of his Westside series, which included several other acrylic paintings from that period. His best known paintings of that era include; “Raspa Man,” “La Cita Lounge,” and “Liria’s Lounge”. The “Progreso” painting was purchased by public relations guru Lionel Sosa in the 1980s and is part of Lionel and Kathy Sosa’s private collection.
Trevino is perhaps best known for his monumental art mosaic–the “Spirit of Healing” at Christus Santa Rosa and the “Veladora” at the Guadalupe Cultural Community Center. In 1999 Trevino also painted a beautiful rendition of a Mexican American healer called “La Curandera” for the Texas Diabetes Institute near the corner of Guadalupe and Zarzamora.
Trevino admired the men and women who worked in the Westside and considered small businesses such as “Progreso” to be an important part of the Westside experience. Trevino grew up in the Westside and from an early age drove by or visited many of the sites that he would later choose to paint.
Jesse Trevino’s early interest in art and design led him to Fox Tech where his older brothers had attended. In his early years of art training at Fox Tech High School, Trevino found inspiration in the American portrait tradition.
During his first year at Fox Tech High School, Trevino painted a portrait of Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson which he titled simply “LBJ” (1962). Trevino’s biographer, Anthony Head, whose book about Trevino was reviewed recently in La Prensa, noted that Trevino found inspiration in the work of portrait artist Norman Rockwell.
Trevino is also well known for his numerous portraits of San Antonio’s Westside heroes including Congressman Henry B. Gonzales, community leader Ruben Munguia, and singer and dancer Rosita Fernandez. Trevino has been painting for more than fifty years and fortunately Anthony Head’s publication, Spirit: The Life and Art of Jesse Trevino, provides us with a fuller account of Trevino’s remarkable life.
Jesse Trevino is one of San Antonio’s great living treasures and everyone appreciates his many artistic accomplishments.
(Photo by Dr. Ricardo Romo)