2015 has been off to a great start on this documentary. We’ve been filming interviews, collecting archive material, and editing. First, I’ll share some notes from December that occurred after our last update.

The Compound #TiaChuck
Live Music at The Compound.

In December we filmed a few of events significant to Chuck’s legacy. The first was a music event at The Compound. In his interview John Mata discussed continuing to keep the community involved in the shared backyard at the Stieren Compound, which has been the residence of many local artists including Chuck.

The Compound #TiaChuck
A crowd gathers at The Compound

We followed John around on Saturday, December 6th as he set up and documented the evening of music that followed. It was a fun night with a great crowd gathered in the backyard to watch performances by Chris Corsano, Cactus Truck, Marcus Rubio, and Dane Rousay + Eric Sandoval.

Ruiz-Healy Opening #TiaChuck
Artist Kimberly Aubuchon looks at work from Chuck’s Piñata Series on view at Ruiz-Healy Art

The second event was Aesthetic Encounters, a group exhibition at Ruiz-Healy Art Gallery which included three of Chuck’s pieces from his Piñata Series. We documented the installation of the work and the lovely opening on December 10th. The work was on view through January 10th, 2015.

New Lyrics Audition at Liberty Bar #TiaChuck
Jessica Barnett DeCuir auditions for New Lyrics: To An Even Gayer Sound of Music

Lastly we documented New Lyrics: To An Even Gayer Sound of Music, an open audition-as-performance on December 15, 2014. The story goes that in 2010 at a Unit B opening Chuck and Sarah Fisch started to make up a dirty song to the tune of My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music. They ran over to Chuck’s house, he put on his glasses, got onto on the computer, and they re-wrote the entire song — laughing the whole time. Chuck titled their version Promiscuous Things. The pair swore that somehow, someday, they were going to stage the song, even if it was just singing the parody at an open mic. The audition was held at The Liberty Bar and it was a very entertaining event to have attended and filmed – thanks to Sarah and all the participates!

Behind the Scenes with Hills Snyder #TiaChuck
Behind the Scenes with artist Hills Snyder

We also filmed interviews with Rick Liberto and Hills Snyder in December. Rick spoke of his close friendship with Chuck and the many travels and adventures they shared. Hills discussed Sala Diaz and his song Far Away, which tells the story of when Chuck went to Bible Camp.

Katy Siegel Interview #TiaChuck
Film Still, an interview with Professor Katy Siegel

We started the first day of 2015 interviewing Professor Katy Siegel, a contributing editor to Artforum. Professor Siegel’s 2003 Artforum article on Chuck’s work was a significant moment in Chuck’s career. We are very grateful to have Katy’s voice in the film to discuss the Contemporary Art theory behind Chuck’s work.

Lars Hundere Behind the Scenes #TiaChuck
Behind the Scenes with artist Lars Hundere

Other January interviews included Lars Hundere and Warren Borror. Lars shared his story behind his experience working with Chuck on his Gap Santos series and Warren provided great insight as a close friend of Chuck’s since their college years.

Henry Estrada Interview Behind the Scenes #TiaChuck
Behind the Scenes with Henry Estrada

Later in the month we interviewed Jesse Amado and Henry Estrada. Jesse discussed his memories from the mid to late 90’s, which he calls (as many do) “a golden era” in the San Antonio art community. Henry shared many beautiful stories about the time he and Chuck shared as well as insight into the work Chuck made.

Chuck Ramirez Coconut at Sala Diaz #Tia Chuck
Chuck Ramirez talks to guests of his 1997 exhibition “Coconut” at Sala Diaz. Courtesy of Amelia Cruz Haley

We have been in contact with Chuck’s close friend, Amelia Cruz Haley, regarding her Hi8 footage from the late 90’s which includes Chuck’s 1997 Coconut exhibition at Sala Diaz, his 1999 Long-Term Surviver exhibition at Artpace in the Hudson (Show)Room, and footage from a trip Amelia, Chuck, and Warren took to Portugal. We are so thrilled to have video footage from this time period for the film and are thankful to Amelia for sharing her footage with us.

Chuck Ramirez Long Term Survivor at Artpace #Tia Chuck
Chuck Ramirez at his exhibition Long-Term Survivor at Artpace, 1999. Courtesy of Amelia Cruz Haley

Chuck Ramirez Kisses Nephew at Artpace #Tia Chuck
Chuck Kisses his nephew Stephen, 1999. Courtesy of Amelia Cruz Haley

One of the most significant pieces of archive material we collected came from artist Anne Wallace. Anne approached us about an audio interview she had recorded with Chuck for a sound piece included in the exhibition Rites of Passage: Quinceaneras, Debs, & Other Queens, curated by Alejandro Diaz. In his interview Chuck talks about telling his family he was gay and HIV+. The interview was recorded on a DAT tape, which we were able to listen to and capture thanks to Michael Nye lending us his DAT machine. The full interview spans many aspects of Chuck’s life and is the most powerful audio we have from Chuck in the film. We are so grateful to Anne for sharing it with us! We plan to continue production to include the refurbishment and installation of Chuck’s series Lost and Found at the San Antonio International Airport in April.

Artpace Hudson (Show)Room Photo by Francisco Cortes
Work from Chuck’s Ingredients Series currently on view at Artpace. Photo by Francisco Cortes

If you’re interested in seeing Chuck’s work in person visit Artpace between now and May 17, 2015. Work from Chuck’s 2002 residency “Bean & Cheese” is currently on view in the Hudson (Show)Room as part of the group show Hare & Hound Press + Artpace: The Art of Collaboration. Also included in the show is a piece from Chuck’s Candy Tray Series.

Purple Ribbon, Quarantine Series Chuck Ramirez #TiaChuck
“Purple Ribbon” by Chuck Ramirez currently on view in “Prematurely Discarded” at Octavia Art Gallery in Houston, Courtesy of Ruiz-Healy Art

Also on view is Prematurely Discarded at Octavia Art Gallery in Houston, Texas from January 22- February 25, 2015. Prematurely Discarded features photographs from the last decade of Chuck’s life and is made possible through a partnership with Ruiz-Healy Art, the exclusive representative of the Estate of Chuck Ramirez. Ruiz-Healy Art has been behind making all the exhibitions of Chuck’s work possible including work at Artpace San Antonio and the Airport. We are very grateful for everything Patricia and the gallery is doing to continue the exhibition of Chuck’s work.

We have been in contact with Chuck’s family and friends to collect photographs and video for our film. In order to ensure we leave no stone unturned, we are putting out a call for any and all photographs, video, audio of Chuck. If you have any material or know of anyone who may have material please do not hesitate to contact us!

Chuck Ramirez Portrait by Jannette Morales #TiaChuck
Portrait of Chuck by Jannette Morales

When we’re not filming interviews or collecting archive material, we’re editing. We’ve really been enjoying the process of editing together the stories shared with us in the interviews we’ve captured. We have a great amount of footage to work with, which will keep us busy editing. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on our progress!

– Angela