Action Matters

Chair for: Jose Luis Luna Torres

Designed and created by Lynn Gregson, Janet Ritchie, Judy van Naerssen
Tucson, AZ

Jose made the most of his first 20 years. He left work in farm fields and brick laying and followed his inspiration to move out of poverty, provide for his widowed mother, and gave hope to youth and families in his community. The overall solid, strong form and shape in our piece speaks to the significance & value of family bonds and the power of personal courage, determination, & perseverance in spite of obstacles. The overall gray cast and sense of shadow speak to loss of dreams, the pain, anguish, & loneliness felt by a mother’s loss of son and the emptiness felt by human loss within community. The power of imagination, dreaming & belief in one’s ability to ascend & sore over life’s obstacles is represented both by the book and the depiction of Jose’s joy & passion for reading, learning & kite flying. Love and hope are expressed through the glowing heart. This work represents belief in the amazing power of one person as well as the power of spirit when

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The Artist
The Student
El Estudiante
The Location
Location Images

About this Artist

Judy van Naerssen

Tucson, AZ
Lyn Gregson, Janet Ritchie & Judy van Naerssen are local artists who share the common belief that art can facilitate social change. Lyn, retired TUSD Art teacher, creates realistic & fanciful paintings. Real estate agent Janet, produces abstracts & small realistic works. Judy, retired Occupational Therapist & Low Vision Rehabilitation Therapist, paints still life & oil landscapes.

Biography [English]

Jose Luis Luna Torres

José Luis Luna Torres decided to leave the countryside to continue his studies. This 20 year-old youth also worked as a bricklayer’s assistant in the indigenous community of Amilcingo, Morelos. In spite of the poverty surrounding him, he was accepted to the Raúl Isidro Bur[g]os Rural Teachers’ College in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. Of slight build and medium stature, José Luis, a lover of kites, wanted to get ahead so that his mother, Macedonia Torres Romero, would have a peaceful old age. It’s that since the death of her husband Zósimo Luna three years before, she found she had to double the length of her workdays, which consisted in selling peanuts and typical sweets of the region in the public plazas and outside the schools of Temoac, a municipality located in eastern Morelos state. José Luis found inspiration in the ideals in defense of education of social activist Vihn Flores Laureano, the founder of the rural teachers’ college in Amilcingo, who was assassinated in 1976 in the boundary zone between the states of Puebla and Morelos. José Luis and seven other youths abandoned their lands since the future for them in Amilcingo would mean working among the furrows of amaranth or making obleas. [Note: it’s unclear whether this refers to making the thin wafers, as in a factory, or to making treats from those wafers smeared with a caramel filling to sell on the streets]. To this days only José Luis has not returned home. Macedonia, at 43 years old, gave up selling peanuts and sweets, and never tires of marching and crying out for the return of her son; for that reason, since September 28, 2014 she has been living in the school José Luis had turned to for his training to become a teacher.”

Biografía [Español]

Jose Luis Luna Torres

José Luis Luna Torres decidió dejar el campo para seguir estudiando. Este joven de 20 años también se desempeñó como ayudante de albañil en la comunidad indígena de Amilcingo, Morelos. A pesar de la pobreza que lo rodeaba consiguió ser aceptado en la Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Bur[g]os de Ayotzinapa, Guerrero. De complexión delgada y mediana estatura, José Luis, amante de los papalotes, quiso superarse para que su madre, Macedonia Torres Romero, tuviera una vejez tranquila. Y es que a la muerte de su esposo Zósimo Luna hace tres años, se vio obligada a redoblar sus jornadas laborales que consistían en vender cacahuates y dulces típicos de la región en plazas públicas y afuera de escuelas de Temoac, municipio situado al oriente del estado de Morelos. José Luis se inspiró en los ideales en defensa a la educación del luchador social Vihn Flores Laureano, fundador de la normal rural de Amilcingo, quien fuera asesinado entre los límites de Puebla y Morelos en 1976. José Luis y otros siete jóvenes abandonaron su tierra, puesto que en Amilcingo el futuro para ellos es trabajar entre los zurcos de amaranto y elaborar obleas. Sin embargo, hasta el momento José Luis es el único que no ha regresado a su hogar. Macedonia, de 43 años, dejó la venta de cacahuates y dulces, ahora no se cansa de marchar y gritar para que le devuelvan a su hijo; y por eso, desde el 28 de septiembre del 2014 vive en la escuela donde José Luis acudió a prepararse para ser maestro.

The Chair's Location

Semanick Studio
5406 E Pima St
Tucson AZ US

Location Images

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