Unique Art At Manhattan Arts Center

Manhattan Arts Center is proud to announce their current gallery exhibit: Jessie M. Montes Artist Extradordinary.

Jessie Montes, the creator of this fantastically unique art, is a self taught artist who lives in Dodge City, Ks. In 1990, to free his mind from worry about two of his children being involved in the Gulf War, he began making frames for photographs out of corrugated paperboard, commonly called cardboard. Then he began to fill in the frames with landscapes, designs, and portraits. Three dimensional sculptures came soon thereafter and his artistic career in this unique medium was launched.

Using corrugated boxes as his material, as well as some corrugated bulletin board paper, he cuts quarter inch strips on a right angle, at 45 degrees or parallel to the corrugations. This gives him three interesting textures with which to work as e creates each piece of art. The strips are then glued edgewise onto the surface of the base, which is also made of cardboard. A protective coating is placed over the work when it is finished.

Jessie’s three dimensional pieces are made totally of "cardboard", but sometimes have the appearance of wood. They vary from small plaques of unusual designs to free standing pieces of various dimensions up to six feet tall.

Born and raised in rural Mexico, Jessie came to the US in 1956. After earning his GED in 1972, he became a full-fledged citizen, something of which he is very proud. In 1996 he retired as custodian at the high school because of the emphysema from which he suffers.

The inspiration for Jessie’s artwork comes from different sources including his ethnic background, family and real life experiences, photographs and his imagination. He categorizes his artistic technique as "developing his own picture puzzles".

Montes’ work is being sold in New York by long-time gallery owner, Phyllis Kind. She says: "Every work of his most assuredly bears his signature. In fact, I would suggest that Montes has invented his own vocabulary of visual form...... 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 has incredible range. This is my definition of what great art is and I belive that Jesus (Jessie) Montes is a great artist!"

The exhibition of Montes’ work can be seen at Manhattan Arts Center, 1520 Poyntz ave. Monday thru Friday from 10am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.