Poetry reading to honor the late José Montoya

The late José Montoya, one of the seminal figures of the Chicano art movement, will be honored at a poetry reading from 7-10 p.m. Thursday in Solano Hall 2002 at Sacramento State, where he taught art, poetry and education for 27 years.

Montoya, who died Sept. 26 of lymphatic cancer that produced a very large mass around his aorta, was a ground-breaking artist, poet, activist and mentor who influenced thousands of students at both high schools and colleges throughout California.

Well-known regional poets Francisco Alarcón, JoAnn Anglin, Nancy Aidé Gonzalez, Xico Gonzalez, Traci Gourdine, Mary Mackey, Graciela Ramirez and Dennis Schmitz will read at Thursday’s event. An open mic will be available for poets who wish to read their pieces about Montoya, whose own poetry blended English, Spanish and barrio slang as they explored the struggles of Latinos in and out of the fields..

The reading is being organized by Sacramento State Art Professor Elaine O’Brien and Andrea “YaYa” Porras in conjunction with an exhibit honoring Montoya at the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento, 1519 19th St. in Sacramento.

The CCAS exhibit, “A Salute to José Montoya,” runs Dec. 11 to Jan. 12. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Second Saturdays.

The exhibit is curated by O’Brien and Porras, and includes Montoya’s artworks and poetry, plus pieces from other artists honoring his memory.