Throughout his career as an artist, Mexican-born Jesús Torres turned his hand to multiple mediums — but before he moved to Chicago in 1924, his hands were employed as a road construction worker. His artistic gifts revealed themselves after he began taking English classes at Hull-House.
“He started coming to Hull-House for English classes, found out that they had ceramic programs and began producing pottery,” Nadia Maragha said. “During that time, he met Edgar Miller and began working alongside him, and they were partners for quite some time. Jesús Torres then continued his work into the 1940s up until his death. His work was incredibly sought after by Chicago’s socialites.”
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum is partnering with the National Museum of Mexican Art to present two events exploring and honoring Torres’ legacy as a Chicago artist.
At Graceland Cemetery on Sunday, July 16, NMMA’s Cesareo Moreno will present on Mexican art in Chicago during Torres’ life. At the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum on Thursday, July 20, Zac Bleicher of Edgar Miller Legacy will offer a presentation on the relationship between Torres and his mentor, Miller; that will be followed by artist Moises Salazar’s non-traditional presentation on Torres’ work and how it was shaped by his Mexican heritage and experience as an immigrant.
“Jesús Torres was extremely popular during his time … and we just want to shine that light back on him, and just illuminate really that immigrant history to the city,” Maragha said.