Jose Montoya, artist and activist, died Wed. Sept. 25, 2013 in Sacramento, California. Jose was a teacher, a poet, and a community activist important to the Chicano movement as it developed in the 1960s and 70’s. He was a poet Laureate of Sacramento and a co founder of the Royal Chicano Air force- an artist collective who helped to define Chicano art and commit their art to political involvements.
The son of farmworker champion Cesar Chavez, Paul F. Chavez, and United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez said in a joint statement, “We will always cherish Jose for how he inspired us as well as so many others through his art. But we will also remember him for the countless times when he walked picket lines, helped organize UFW events and fed the farmworkers during every major strike, boycott and political campaign. He was truly a servant of the farmworker movement and we will always be in his debt.”
Montoya influenced thousands of students and teachers during his 27 years as a professor of art at California State University Sacramento, as well his earlier years as a teacher in Wheatland. He was a sought after speaker on issues related to using art in teaching.