Ruben Trejo

Biography

Ruben Trejo (1937–2009) was born in a Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad yard in St. Paul, Minnesota, where his father, a mixed Tarascan Indian and Hispanic from Michoacán, Mexico, and his mother, from Ixtlan in the same Mexican province, had found a home for the family in a boxcar while his father worked for the railroad. Trejo became the first in his family to graduate from college, and in 1973 he moved to the Pacific Northwest, where he began a thirty-year association with Eastern Washington University as teacher and artist.

His isolation from major centers of Chicano culture led him to search for self-identity through his art. Influenced and inspired by such writers and artists as Octavio Paz and Guillermo Gómez-Pena, he explored a dynamic, multidimensional worldview through his sculpture and mixed-media pieces and created a body of work that deftly limns his identity as an artist and a Chicano. Throughout his long teaching career, he worked tirelessly to create opportunities for young Chicanos through tutoring and mentoring.

Artist Statement

“Multiple backgrounds can form such two- and three-dimensional ideas that they take you to the brink of lunacy, but I have used this rich background and ethnic landscape for creating art. As a student at the University of Minnesota, I often wondered what the study of Russian history, Shakespeare, English literature, or Freud . . . had to do with cleaning onions in Hollandale, Minnesota, picking potatoes in Hoople, North Dakota, or visiting relatives in Michoacán. This diversity of ideas can produce a three-headed monster or an artist, and I chose the latter.” -Ruben Trejo

https://marmotartspace.com/art-for-sale/ols/categories/ruben-trejo
https://uwapress.uw.edu/book/9780295990040/ruben-trejo/

Our Stories Our Visions Continued

Help Name a New School After Ruben Trejo

EWU Professor Ruben Trejo 1937 – 2009

Spokane Public School District 81 is looking for nominations for names of new schools and buildings. We nominated Ruben Trejo for the new building for the On Track Academy located on the Shaw Campus. We also nominated Frances Scott (see the link) for the new middle school in NE Spokane on Foothills Drive.