Humble artist commissioned for church paintings

From Community Reports
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When San Jose de Calasanz Catholic Church in Lockney, Texas celebrated their 50th anniversary on Oct. 28, 2012, they invited Humble artist Ray Gatica, who was commis­sioned in 2001 to paint two paintings of the church's namesake saint San Jose de Calasanz.

"First of all, I was honored to be asked to create the paint­ings, and now
- I am extra honored having been invited to come and partake in their 50th celebration," said Gatica.

When the church was being built 50 years ago, Gatica was a youngster, running around and playing with other chil­dren...Little did he know that ap­proximately 40 years later, he would be commissioned to paint two paintings for the church. "I have been told the paintings mean a lot to the church's parishioners," said Gatica, "and that makes me feel warm inside."

When the church ap­proached Gatica for the com­mission, they provided a cou­ple of small, old, worn and fading prints of the saint they wanted recreated into quality, large, paintings for the church. Gatica took it from there and created the paint­ings that measure 3 feet by 4 feet, painted in acrylic on canvas, and then cleared with a clear acrylic. Bishop Placido Rodriquez CMF, from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lubbock, lead the celebration along with the first priest as­signed to the church. The bishop was on hand to bless the paintings in 2001 and was there again on Oct. 28 to lead the celebration, along with the first priest who was assigned to the church 50 years ago. The paintings are promi­nently hung, one in the church, and the other in the recreation hall.

"I like to revisit works I have created in the past be­cause it takes me to a place and time in my life where I remember feelings and things that were happening in my life
during that time. It's like hearing an old song that takes you back to where you were, when you first heard it," Gati­ca said.

Gatica was one of the VIPs for the day along with other firsts invited to attend and celebrate. These included the artist's younger sister, Irene Gatica Dimas, from Phoenix, Ariz., who was the first bap­tismal and a cousin, Janie Gonzales, who was the first marriage performed. Also in attendance was Abraham Trevino, one of the surviving two first-altar boys.


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Contact Ray Gatica at 281-441-9714, Email















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