I’ve been looking forward to our monthly update for this documentary project. We’ve made some great progress and have a lot to share with you! We’ll start with a screen shot from our editing process:

February Editing Timeline, Rick Frederick and Chuck the Cat #TiaChuck A Screenshot of our Editing Timeline, with Rick Frederick and Chuck the Cat

Mark and I spent the majority of February editing the interviews we’ve collected into shorter sequences. We started with nearly 30 hours of interview material, which we’ve edited down to 3 hours of stories and insight that span Chuck’s life and career. We are on schedule to complete our rough cut this month and begin production on additional scenes and recreations to compliment our story.

Chuck Ramirez Party, Film Still by Jannette Morales A party at Chuck’s Apartment Above the Botanica Infinito, Film Still from Video by Jannette Morales

We continued to collect archive material in February, including photographs and footage by Jannette Morales. Jannette was a neighbor and a close friend of Chuck’s and she captured some wonderful material during the late 90s early 2000s. We were very excited to see footage of Chuck’s extraordinary apartment above Franco Mondini-Ruiz’s Botanica Infinito. The stories we’ve heard of the parties Chuck hosted were brought to life in Jannette’s footage. We captured several hours of hi8 footage from Jannette including an interview and behind the scenes of Chuck’s working process while living above the Bontanica.

Chuck Ramirez as Tia Chuck, filmed by Ethel Shipton Chuck Ramirez as Tia Chuck, filmed by Ethel Shipton

Artist Ethel Shipton documented Chuck cooking his famous Curry Tuna Salad at his home in The Compound in the early 2000s. Chuck plays the role of a “Gay Mexican Martha Stewart” for part of a video series Ethel was working on. The series was never completed, but luckily Ethel was able to find the original tape in her archives. We are so happy to have footage of Chuck cooking and sharing a meal, which according to Hills Snyder, was the best way for someone to see Chuck’s personality.

Chuck Ramirez as Tia Chuck, filmed by Ethel ShiptonChuck Ramirez as Tia Chuck, filmed by Ethel Shipton

“You’d see his creativity, his love of simple things, his intuitive awareness of what to add and how much, his willingness to share, his eagerness to meet new people – it would all be there, in a meal.” – Hills Snyder

Chuck Ramirez Photo by Amelia Cruz Haley #TiaChuck Chuck Ramirez, Photograph by Amelia Cruz Haley

In our February Update I mentioned late 90s footage shot by Chuck’s dear friend Amelia Cruz Haley. Amelia also has a wonderful collection of photographs from her many years of friendship with Chuck. One of our favorites is the portrait above. Many thanks to Amelia for your support and contributions to our documentary!

Marsha Twomey #TiaChuck An Interview with Marsha Twomey

We filmed an interview with Marsha Twomey, Chuck’s close friend and Instructor from San Antonio College. Marsha shared a wonderful story of the first time she ever saw Chuck, when he was student in the Graphic Arts Program at SAC. She also shared insight into his college years and the friendship they shared for many years after he left the program.

Chuck Ramirez Lost and Found Series: Toys, 2008 Chuck Ramirez, Lost and Found Series: Toys, 2008. Courtesy of Ruiz-Healy Art

We have been keeping up to date with the restoration and installation of Chuck’s Lost and Found artworks for the San Antonio International Airport. As you may know, the original light boxes were faded by the sun and are being reprinted and installed in a new, more prominent location at the Airport. We are so grateful to Ruiz-Healy Art, the Department for Culture and Creative Development, and the Contractors for their efforts in this project. The installation is currently scheduled for early April. We will be documenting this project and will keep you updated on this project – including when the work will be ready for public viewing.

Chuck Ramirez, Words: Candy, 2004 Chuck Ramirez, Candy, 2004. Courtesy of Ruiz-Healy Art

If you’re interested in seeing Chuck’s work in person, check out More Than Words: Text-Based Artworks, a group show at Ruiz-Healy Art Gallery. The exhibition opened this week and will run through April 25, 2015. The show features images from Chuck’s 2004 series Words. Learn more about the exhibition.

We have a few more interviews to film in the coming weeks, if you have any questions or archive material (photos, audio, video), don’t hesitate to contact us!

– Angela