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Cardboard Creations by Jessie Montes

June 11, 2017 - September 3, 2017

Jessie Montes, Artist

Jessie Montes is a western Kansas folk artist who creates his artwork from corrugated paperboard. He is an extraordinary example of the phenomenon of a sweeping all-consuming and obsessive involvement with art-making that can overtake a person at any time, at any age and with no apparent warning. With no schooling in art, and no previous history of art-making, Mr. Montes created complex visual statements with simple materials.

Over 40 years ago Jessie Montes, the only survivor of five sets of twins, migrated to the United States from Mexico. Having no formal education, Montes worked as a custodian for the Dodge City school district. When Montes’ son and daughter were called to duty for the Persian Gulf War, he quickly tried to find a way to relax. “One day I just started cutting cardboard,” said Montes. “I eventually made a picture frame for my sons photograph,” said Montes. Soon Montes started to experiment with different designs and themes.

He began to fill in frames with landscapes, designs and portraits. Three dimensional sculptures came soon thereafter and his artistic career in this unique medium was launched!

Montes’ tools consist of cardboard cut in 1/4 inch strips, tweezers, a sharp razor blade, and paste. Montes’ subject matter include mixtures of ethnic and social influences, architectural themes, and popular culture references. The work varies from portraiture to landscape, it sometimes includes architecture and it always functions as excellent abstraction. In other words, the work is totally consistent, but also has incredible range. Jessie Montes (1935-2013)


June 11, 2017
September 3, 2017
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Stauth Memorial Museum
111 N. Aztec
Montezuma, KS 67867 United States
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