José Andrés Girón has been dedicated to art. From his father’s side, his New Mexican roots can be traced to the first settlers at the Rio Grande. From his mother’s side early Arizonians and old Mexican rich cultural history. As a young boy, Andrés spent his summer months in New Mexico on his grandfather’s ranch.
Family and culture have influenced his choice of subject matter in deciding what is important to express in his art. His work almost always depicts the positive and the beautiful things of the Hispanic/Latino cultura. Andrés, as he like to call himself, was born in Phoenix and lived next to the airport close to the Golden Gate Barrio. He served as an altar boy at Sacred Heart, with Father Albert Braun, famous Franciscan Father and highly decorated Army chaplain in both WWI and WWII and who has influenced many lives including Andrés’.
Just out of high school, Andrés joined the army and found himself deployed to Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division, where he experienced the war firsthand. He received the Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for heroism in actions against hostile forces. After receiving the Purple Heart for gunshot wounds, and recuperating in the hospital, drawing became as natural as breathing. He then made a promise to himself that if he were to survive the war, he would make a solid commitment to becoming an artist.
Using his GI Benefits, he attended art school at the Hollywood Art Center in California, Phoenix College and ASU in Arizona, where he majored in Art Education. Along other artists, Andrés began to show at parks, community events or wherever there was an audience. He was a member of MARS and ARIZLTAN, which started a Latino arts movement in the late seventies and early eighties in Phoenix, Arizona.
In the mid-eighties he met civil rights leader Cesar Chavez and offered his services as an artists and supporter of the civil rights movement in Arizona and New Mexico. His encounter with Cesar Chavez left an impression of great respect and admiration for him and also source of inspiration for his art.
During the seventies he served as an apprentice and trained as a pictorial artist with Eller Outdoor Advertising in Phoenix, Arizona. It served him well as a muralist and a disciplined artist. He used those skills to create his own graphic arts business. In 1984 he was honored and awarded “New Business of The Year” by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
In New Mexico he was awarded “Outstanding Artist 2003” in the Contemporary Hispanic Market in Santa Fe, awarded first place in Albuquerque’s Spanish Market and has received awards and citations too numerous to mention. His art is part of the collection of the Latino Art Archives in the Smithsonian in Washington DC, and is the collectable investment in Latino Art History.
In 2009 he reunited with the artists coalition and joined the effort successfully established the first Arizona Latino arts and cultural center in downtown Phoenix Arizona. He continues to play and active role in its growth and success. He is a mentor to young and upcoming Latino and Native American artists and shares his expertise and experience generously. He curates ALAC’s exhibitions beautify and promotes educational art opportunities wherever he can.
In 2015 he was honored by the Victoria Foundation as a recipient of the “Arizona Higher Education Award” for his contribution to the community in Art and Culture.
He divides his time between his studios in New Mexico and Arizona to bring a better understanding of Latino and Native American culture for all to enjoy. José Andrés Girón draws inspiration from his roots. Soft, lofty, sunbaked portraits of his people and their lives indigenous to the beauty and enchantment of the southwest land.