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An Interview With Ruben Garcia
Not available online
TitleAn Interview With Ruben Garcia
AbstractInterviewer: Irene Ruiz. Interview recorded August 24, 1981. 1 sound cassette (ca. 90 minutes): analog, stereo.; 5 7/8 x 2 1/2 in., 1/8 in. tape; 1 sound disc; digital; 4 3/4 in. Has printed guide to contents.
NotesRuben Garcia was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1956. He is an artist and has done mural painting. In the interview he discusses his early life and his career and art projects.

Number 14 on MP3 disc.
LocationSC69-1, Tape 16, CD 16
Local SubjectOral History
Garcia, Ruben
Hispanic Americans
Item TypeArchival Material
TranscriptionSynopsis of interview:

Garcia has a strong interest in Mexican-American art. Born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1956. Father was born in El Paso, Texas. Grandmother from Chihuahua. Mother from Baja, California. Parents were pen pals but never met until after World War II. Father, although born in Texas, was raised in KC. Family had come seeking work on the railroads. Father is Frank Lucas Garcia, mother Alicia Sofia Aviles. Parents came to KC soon after marriage. Grandmother, now deceased, lived at 23rd and Jarboe. Family now lives on Belleview. Father quit high school during the depression, joined army and was stationed in Africa. Garcia has 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Father did everything from selling apples on streetcorner, to working on railroads, in packing houses, as a lumberjack. Mother worked some outside home. Parents spoke Spanish at home, but Garcia considers English his strongest language. Recalls a teacher telling his mother to use English at home, because Spanish was slowing the children's learning at school. Mother was upset, but continued using Spanish.

Attended Guadalupe for elementary and Junior High School, transferred to Westport High. Graduated 1975. Thinks Mexican-Americans are prouder of their heritage now than when he was growing up. Sees more strictly Mexican businesses opening up on West Side. Recalls no clear-cut cases of discrimination as he was growing up. Family attends Guadalupe Church. Liked to draw, won a state-wide contest in high school for his cartoons. Played basketball for a church league. Worked in a camera shop near Country Club Plaza during high school. Felt like an outsider because he was Mexican. Studied commercial art in high school, took advanced art courses at Penn Valley Community College. Quit after 3 years, is thinking of returning. Continued working afternoons at the camera shop while in college. Planned to get a BA degree but did not do well in some required classes unrelated to art. Worked in shipping and receiving at the camera store 4 years before changing jobs.

Has now works for Mobil Oil as a mail machine operator for 3 years. Works nights. A friend, Henry Montes had been in California and admired the mural paintings there. Garcia and Montes were asked to do a mural at Guadalupe Center, and currently are doing another for Channel 9, to be used as a backdrop for a TV program. So far they are not being paid but materials are supplied. Hope to do an outside mural somewhere on the West Side. Trying to get more ideas, more community interest. The 2 work on the murals during their free time. Looking ahead, Garcia would like to do more cartooning. Is currently doing a strip for Dos Mundos (a local bilingual newspaper). Artwork deals with himself and Mexican-Americans. Uncle was a commercial artist, father also had artistic abilities.
Access This ItemYou may come to the Missouri Valley Room to listen to the interview.
Item ID210299
CONTENTdm number36333
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