Ernest M. Saenz
Chicano Calender 2006

The piece shown here is the face of an Inca painted on a rock found near the Barona Band of Mission Indians Reservation in San Diego.

One day, Saenz was challenged to prove that he was an artist by a person who stated that one is not an artist until they sell their artwork. Saenz says that lacking the money to buy canvases to answer the challenge, he painting on rocks and sold them at the 1994 opening of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. He continues to paint on rocks and says that, in the same way that people look at clouds and see images, he sees images in rocks and paints what he sees.

Saenz has a goal of advancing Chicano Art in the mainstream commercial market so that cultural centers may become self-sustaining from the revenues of business ventures. One such project is the Chicano Calendar A - o Tochtli ~ 2006, cover shown here and designed by Dolores Gonzalez Haro.