Remembering Our Friend Miguel Guerrero (1932 – 2020)

Remembering Our Friend Miguel Guerrero (1932 – 2020)

Miguel “Mike” Guerrero (Stockton, CA) was born in Michoacan, Mexico on February 27, 1932 to the late Miguel and Consuelo Guerrero, and grew up in the California Central Valley.

He memorialized his early experiences as a boy, immigrant, and student in the United States in a book Reflections of a Little Brown Boy, written in adulthood. His athleticism in boxing as a young adult in school led to further training, resulting in Pacific Coast and NCAA featherweight championships. After a stint in the Army where he served in Germany and at the American Embassy in France, he returned to attend college at San Jose State University, and earned a MBA from the University of Santa Clara. Miguel retired as a Business Instructor from San Joaquin Delta College, then continued teaching printmaking through the Stockton Institute for Continued Learning.

Along with his teaching career, he became deeply interested in studio art, experimenting with sculpture and moving into drawing, painting, and printmaking. He exhibited widely for over 30 years with notable local exhibitions at The Haggin Museum, Mexican Heritage Center, Alan Short Gallery, LH Horton Jr Gallery and at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts. His works are held in numerous private collections, and a bronze sculpture resides in the collection of the Department of Migrant Education in Washington, DC.

Always a teacher and mentor, Miguel made many lifelong connections with educators, students, and artists. Gregarious, friendly, and generous by nature, he enjoyed sharing knowledge, good foods, libations, stories, and conversations. He was a positive person with an upbeat attitude and good sense of humor, yet grounded, strong, and loyal. Beyond teacher and artist, he was a cherished husband, father, brother, and friend that will be profoundly missed by his family and our community.

Remembering Our Friend Stephen Gyermek (1930 – 2016)

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Stephen (Istvan/Pista) Agoston Gyermek (Nov. 9, 1930 – Oct. 26, 2016) was a fourth generation artist from Hungary who lived and worked across four countries including Holland, Spain and the United States of America.  He was true Master Artist producing significant bodies of work in design, drawing, painting, printmaking and stained glass.  In addition he was a celebrated Art Historian, Museum Director and Professor. For nearly 50 years Stephen was a prominent and esteemed member of the educational and creative communities of San Joaquin County.  In 2011, the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts premiered Kunstlerleben – From Budapest to the Valley – Stephen Gyermek Retrospective (June 25th through July 23rd, 2011).

The exhibition featured works from Stephen’s life from age 10 to the present, and was met with celebration and acclaim attracting visitors from across America. To have known Stephen was a great gift… he could charm you with a vast understanding of world history, speaking across seven languages, while making you contemplate and laugh at the same time!The Record’s Michael Fitzgerald has written a story in Stephen’s honor.  Please consider commenting or writing a letter to the Editor voicing your support for The Record’s important coverage of issues related to our creative community.Jim Lewis, Bruce Duke & Stephen Gyermek are pictured at San Joaquin Delta College, circa 1990s. – Photo courtesy of Karen Olson, all rights reserved.

Remembering Our Friend Rowland Cheney (1943 – 2015)

STATUE AT ROUNDABOUT3 (12-06-13)  Rowland Cheney runs electrical wiring through his ÒHarvest of ProgressÓ statue before it is raised over a platform at the center of the Sixth Street-Central Avenue roundabout late Dec. 5.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press

Rowland Cheney  (Clements, CA) was a  prolific member of our creative community. He and his fiance,  Mary Doucette of Lodi, were among the nine people lost in a plane crash near Ketchikan, Alaska in June of 2015.

Mr. Cheney was a celebrated Emeritus Professor of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture at San Joaquin Delta College, professional artist and an important member of the Kiger Mustang community.  The Tracy community worked with Rowland for three years to create the largest work of his career, the monumental 20′ landmark sculpture Harvest of Progress, at Central Avenue and 6th Street in downtown.

The photo (courtesy of the Tracy Press/Glenn Moore) to the left shows the artist hard at work on the cold night of December 5th, 2013, when Harvest of Progress was installed.