Local Latino/a Artist
of the Month
- Jay Michael Jaramillo -
Jay Michael Jaramillo has been an artist his entire life; learning from his father, Jerry Jaramillo, who is a renowned artist, sculptor, and jeweler. He was always encouraged to follow his passion in life and can proudly say he has been living the dream as an artist for as long as he can remember. Jay has explored numerous styles of painting to create his own unique style, which includes traditional portrait painting, cubism, surrealism, and street art to reflect his contemporaries. Jay receives most of his inspiration from the beauty of life in all shapes and forms. He also seeks to display the cosmic energies on Earth and in the cosmos themselves.
How do you incorporate your heritage/identity/culture into your work & why?
I began to celebrate my Chicano culture while restoring my father’s murals La Familia Cósmica, Primavera, and Flight of the Eagle Dancer as a 15-year-old in 2005. In 2010, I dove deep into my culture as a Chicano when I joined MSU Denver’s program, Journey Through Heritage. It was there that I began to reconnect with my indigenous roots. I enjoy titling my artwork in both Spanish and English to connect to a greater diaspora and reflect my culture as a Chicano.
Does your work comment on current social or political issues? How? Why are you choosing to comment on these issues?
For 10 years, I have created artwork that addresses social issues. I depict these social issues peacefully because that is my nature - I am a promoter of peace. For example, I understand some animals have symbolism. Birds of prey often symbolize war while doves are considered birds of peace. I utilize these symbols more when creating public art so as not to ruffle too many feathers while still making a subliminal statement on social and political issues.
Title: Old Soul
By: Jay Michael Jaramillo
Size: 48”x 24”
Style: Acrylic & Aerosol on Masonite
Tell us a bit about being a Latino artist or the Latino artist community.
I am proud to have a strong connection with the Latino community across Colorado. I have an especially strong connection to CHAC, the Chicano Humanities Arts Council in the Santa Fe Art District in Denver. I was essentially raised there, grew my comfort level showing art as a teenager, and continued to grow each month for the next art exhibition.
I am also proud to be a representative of the Journey Through Our Heritage program and CHAC. Each has truly cultivated a community around culture, which has led to connections with several other organizations that celebrate diversity through collaborative programs.
Title: Peace & Justice For All
By: Jay Michael Jaramillo
Size: 2'4" x 12"
Style: Acrylic on Masonite Wood
Title: The Root of Community; The Soul of Humanity
By: Jay Michael Jaramillo & Jerry Jaramillo
Style: Latex, Acrylic & Aerosol
Location: Su Teatro, 7th & Santa Fe Drive, Denver, 80204
View a video of Jay Michael Jaramillo & Jerry Jaramillo painting the mural in Molina Speaks’ music video, Steal Some Time.
Green Lady Gardens is all about celebrating the joy of color. Comment on the phrase "celebrating the joy of color."
I want to thank Green Lady Gardens for celebrating the joy of color. I have a love for utilizing a multitude of colors to celebrate my vibrant personality, my proud culture, and to deliver quality art work that is pleasing to the viewer. Thank you again, Green Lady Gardens, for recognizing my work and for the work you are doing to recognize the contributions of Latinos to create a more inclusive culture.
Pictured: Jay Michael Jaramillo & Jerry Jaramillo at the Para Mi Pueblo: Chicano / a Muralists of Colorado"art exhibit at the McNichols Civic Center Building
9/14/20 - 12/22/19
Title: Los Dos Aguilas de las Americas
(The Two Eagles of the Americas)
View more work and contact:
Jay regularly posts fresh artwork to his social media and shares the location of his public art so all can visit the murals that he has painted across Colorado. His work can also be viewed on SnapChat and TikTok @JayMichaelJ
All images are the property of Jay Jaramillo.
Some content may have been edited for clarity.