Interview with Mike Casey
Film Still – Interview with Mike Casey

November was very busy for us on this film. We started the month by filming an interview with Mike Casey, who has been an incredible supporter of the art community in San Antonio. Mike owns the properties on the corner of S St Mary’s St & Stieren St, known as The Compound, where Chuck and many creative individuals in the community have lived and currently live.

Our view from our hotel in the Lower East Side

Behind the Scenes with artist Zane Lewis in his Brooklyn Studio

Behind the Scenes with Scott Lifshutz
Behind the Scenes with artist Scott Lifshutz in his Manhattan Studio

The second week of November we traveled to New York City for interviews with Carla Stellweg, Alejandro Diaz, Scott Lifshutz, and Zane Lewis. The trip only lasted four days, but we were able to make the most of our time by traveling all over the city to meet with our interview subjects. Each interview gave us a unique perspective on Chuck’s life and work. Thank you to all our New York interviewees for inviting us into your lovely homes and talking with us!

Art Attack with Bettie Ward on KLRN's ArtBeat
Video Still – Chuck on KLRN’s ArtBeat, 1995

When we returned from New York we continued working on researching and collecting archive film and video. Chuck’s friend Amelia Cruz Haley sent a wonderful clip of a mid-90’s interview Chuck had with Bettie Ward on the KLRN show ArtBeat. There was a roll of super 8mm film found in Chuck’s home after his passing that had ended up with artist and filmmaker Debra Sugarman. We were excited to hear about this film, but there is no way of knowing what it may contain. Debra was able to drop the film off for processing in Los Angeles, so cross your fingers for us! We have also been in contact with Jannette Morales, Lars Hundere, Patricia Pratchett, and John Mata regarding their personal film and video archives. This has lead us to purchase a Hi8 camera to capture some of their old tapes.

Chuck Ramirez by Warren Borror
Portrait of Chuck courtesy of Warren Borror

We’ve also been in search of photographs and have been in contact with Warren Borror, Jannette Morales, Justin Parr, and Bryan Rindfuss to discuss their personal photography archives. We’ve been incredibly impressed with the images we’ve seen so far and are looking forward to discovering more photographs for our documentary.

Chuck Ramirez Lost and Found Series, 2008
Chuck’s Lost and Found Series after demo and removal from the San Antonio International Airport

We have been in contact with PASA (Public Art San Antonio) regarding the refurbishment of Chuck’s work at the airport. With the exception of two works, the lightbox Lost and Found Series was completely faded by the sun and in need of replacement. Construction on this project is underway with the new location and art works scheduled to be revealed early next year. We filmed the faded panels after they were removed from the airport and will continue to document the installation process.

Behind the Scenes with Chuck's Nephews
Behind the Scenes photos of Chuck’s nephews Stephen and Christopher by Patricia Marcus

The second half of the month we filmed interviews with Sarah Fisch, John Mata, Chuck’s nephews Stephen and Christopher, and Rick Frederick. We were so excited about each interview because we are beginning to hear Chuck’s story come together.

Behind the Scenes with Rick Frederick
Behind the Scenes with Rick Frederick and Chuck the Cat

We’ve conducted twenty-one interviews and have several more to come. It’s an almost overwhelming amount of material, but we want the film to feel as inclusive as possible and we consider our time conducting interviews as research. For December we have scheduled interviews with Rick Liberto, Kimberly Aubuchon, Hills Snyder, Warren Borror, Marsha Twomey, Katy Siegel and others.

Artpace World AIDS Day Banner by Chuck Ramirez
Film Still – Chuck’s World AIDS Day Banner at Artpace

Yesterday, December 1st was World AIDS day. We visited Artpace to document the banner above which was designed by Chuck for Artpace in 2006. This month we have plans to film the opening of the group show, Aesthetic Encounters at Ruiz-Healy Art on December 10th at 6:00pm. The show will include work by Chuck, Jesse Amado, Nate Cassie, and others. We are thrilled at our progress and look forward to sharing our continued work on this film.

– Angela