Hello Supporters,
I hope you are keeping safe and dry during the Hurricane! We’ve been continuing work on this film since our last update in February. I’ve been planning to post an update since April, but we had a major life change that’s kept us busy the last several months – we moved! We’re now located in Southtown just blocks away from Casa Chuck. We’d been living on the other side of town since childhood and had been commuting downtown the past eight years. It’s wonderful to be down here close to our friends, all the amazing arts organizations, and of course Casa Chuck and the Compound. We’re all settled in and have kept out of the heat this summer while editing this film. Below are a few updates on this film:

Behind the Scenes

We completed the rough cut phase of this film and have begun filming supplemental scenes and recreations. It’s very exciting because we’ve been editing these scenes as we film them, so we’re getting to see the final film slowly come together! Here are some behind the scenes photos and film stills from the four supplemental scenes we’ve shot so far:

Film Still, Chuck Ramirez's Childhood Art Book<
Film Still, Chuck Ramirez’s Childhood Art Book

Chuck’s Childhood Art Book
One of the first items we found while looking through the Casa Chuck Archive was an art book Chuck made in elementary school. We scanned the book and printed those scans to recreate what Chuck’s school desk may have looked like when he drew these pages. Sharing Chuck’s childhood artworks helps provide visual evidence for the stories Chuck tells in an interview recorded by Anne Wallace and Wayne Dow in 2001.

Tia Chuck Film Still, Chuck Interview Tape Recordings
Film Still, Playing Back an Audio Interview with Chuck Ramirez

Chuck Interview Tape Recordings
The interview mentioned above was originally recorded as part of Blue Star’s 15th Anniversary show, Quinceañeras, Debs and Other Queens curated by Alejandro Diaz. Anne Wallace and Wayne Dow’s project was called Rites of Passage, and they interviewed Lisa Mellinger, Katie Pell, and Chuck Ramirez about their personal rites of passage. This audio interview with Chuck has been integral to our film and we wanted to include a scene with a tape player that let the audience know where his narration was coming from.

Behind the Scenes, Batman and Robin Recreation
Behind the Scenes with Cinematographer Mark Walley and Reuben Frey playing a young Chuck

Batman and Robin Recreation
In the film Chuck shares early childhood memories including playing Robin from Batman and Robin. We hope recreation scenes like these will pull you further into the stories Chuck shares from archive interviews. Special thanks to the Frey Family for being a part of this film.

Filming at Thomas Jefferson High School
Behind the Scenes with Cinematographer Mark Walley at Jefferson High School

Thomas Jefferson High School
In the film Chuck and his friend Jeff Adams share memories of their years at Thomas Jefferson High School. Thank you to Principal Vera and everyone who helped us while filming at Jefferson.

Chuck Ramirez #TiaChuck
Portrait of Chuck Ramirez, Courtesy Ruiz-Healy Art

Citywide Celebrations of Chuck this Fall

Glasstire.com recently selected the upcoming Citywide Celebration of Chuck Ramirez as their #1 Pick for Fall. Read the post or Watch on the video.

There are four exhibitions that will include Chuck’s work starting with INCITE at the Linda Pace Foundation September 8 – January 27, 2018, a group show featuring works from the Linda Pace Foundation’s collection of contemporary art.

Chuck Ramirez: All This and Heaven Too at the McNay Art Museum opens September 14 – January 14, 2018 and will be the first significant survey of Chuck’s work. The exhibition is organized by the McNay’s Chief Curator/Curator of Contemporary Art René Paul Barilleaux.

Ruiz-Healy Art’s sister exhibition Chuck in Context will be on view September 15 – October 14, 2017.

And finally, Chuck Ramirez at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts will include works from Chuck’s Purse Portraits series, on view September 16 – January 13, 2018.

We are very excited about these exhibitions and very grateful to Ruiz-Healy, the McNay, Linda Pace Foundation, and the Tobin Center for all their efforts in showcasing Chuck’s work this fall.

Tia Chuck Editing Timeline, August 2017
Tia Chuck Editing Timeline, August 2017
Left Photo: Portrait of Chuck by Judy Bankhead, Right Photo: Film Still with Rueben Frey as a young Chuck

Production Schedule Update

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, we have committed to complete this film and have a screening at the McNay Art Museum during the run of Chuck Ramirez: All This and Heaven Too. The exhibition runs through January 14th and our screening date is TBA. We’ve created a Production Schedule for filming our supplemental material over the next month and will be editing the final film in October. The current running time is around 60 minutes, which means this film will be feature length as planned. Thank you to everyone who has been so incredibly patient with us over the years as we’ve worked on this film. We’re very excited to share it and will post screening dates as soon as we have them!

Charles and Mary Lily Ramirez at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum
Charles and Mary Lily Ramirez at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, 2016

Charles Ramirez (1937-2017)

We were very sad to hear of the loss of Chuck’s father, Charles Ramirez on April 15th. Our deepest condolences go out to Patricia Marcus and her family. We are very grateful to have had the opportunity to interview Charles for our documentary and film him with Chuck’s Broom Series at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum when Blue Star hosted a Special Reception & Art Preview of the four selected Broom Series artworks before the pieces were installed at H-E-B South Flores Market. Charles’ voice currently narrates Chuck’s birth scene, which sets the tone for the personal story-telling style in the rest of the film. It was a pleasure to spend time with Charles and his wife Lily in their home and we are so grateful to have had access to Charles’ archive of family photographs. Thank you Charles, RIP.

Angela Walley
Director, Tia Chuck: A Portrait of Chuck Ramirez (Working Title)