Chuck Ramirez by Jannette Morales #TiaChuck

Chuck Ramirez (1962-2010)
Photo by Jannette Morales

We are currently in production on Tía Chuck, a documentary film following the life and work of the late artist and graphic designer Chuck Ramirez. On November 6, 2010 Chuck Ramirez died after falling off his bike less than a block from his home in Southtown. It was then that we began documenting a community deeply affected by the untimely loss of a larger-than-life artist, who many felt was the heart of the art community. Tía Chuck will utilize footage captured in the days following the artist’s death, interviews conducted with Ramirez before his passing, archive footage and photographs collected from family and friends, and newly shot footage to illustrate stories told by those closest to him. This documentary film will ensure that his legacy lives on – bringing his remarkable life and work to new audiences.

Chuck Ramirez Black Heart #TiaChuck

Chuck Ramirez
Candy Tray Series: Black Heart, 2008
Courtesy of Ruiz-Healy Art

A native San Antonian, Ramirez had a successful career in graphic design and advertising before he came unto his own as a conceptual artist in his early thirties. Primarily employing large-scale photography, Ramirez’s pieces investigate the rituals and forms of everyday life and are charged with metaphors of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and mortality. Piñatas, candy trays, brooms, a Whataburger cup – Chuck Ramirez’s work recontextualizes objects from the banal to the extraordinary. Working with materials and images that are part of his daily life – a life impacted by being HIV positive – Ramirez transformed the language and power of advertising into a call for action and compassion, expression, and self-actualization. Throughout the final fifteen years of his life, Ramirez played an active role in the community as a fundraiser and advocate for contemporary art and exhibited his work nationally and internationally.

Thanks to, you can now make a tax-deductible donation to our project. Donate at the link below, any donation amount is greatly appreciated. ¡Viva Tía Chuck!

Donate now: Tía Chuck on Hatchfund

We’ve chosen because we wanted to partner with a nonprofit organization whose mission is dedicated to supporting the work of artists. This service is free for the artist, provides fully tax-deductible contributions, and one-on-one support to us throughout our fundraising campaign. The additional donations (10% minimum in total) that you pay for administration of the campaign goes towards a nonprofit committed to cultural advocacy.

Interviewing Ken Little for #TiaChuck Film

Interviewing Ken Little in his studio for Tía Chuck

We have experience producing over forty short documentary films following artists and non-profit art organizations in Texas. We are building on that experience to produce this project, which will be our most ambitious film to date. We estimate the length will be between 30-45 minutes. Funding will go towards additional video equipment costs, production costs for cinematic recreation scenes, and our time filming, editing, and composing an original score for this film. We are fundraising with the hope of completing the film by the end of the year and having screenings early next year. Follow production at

Thank you for your support!



Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other features a selection of Idea Fund supported projects. We were selected as 2013 Idea Fund recipients for our upcoming documentary film Tía Chuck. Since we’re currently in production on Tía Chuck, we are screening our short documentary film Justin Boyd: Sound and Time to represent our documentary work. Six of One, Half a Dozen of the Other includes works on view at DiverseWorks, Project Row Houses, and Aurora Picture Show. Read more about the series of exhibitions and screenings.

Justin Boyd: Sound and Time
Video Still: Justin Boyd: Sound and Time

Aurora Picture Show Screenings
Saturday, June 28th at 7pm
2442 Bartlett St.
Houston, Texas 77098

Angela and Mark Walley (Walley Films), Justin Boyd: Sound and Time (2013 Idea Fund): In this short documentary, artist Justin Boyd, Department Chair of Sculpture and Integrated Media at Southwest School of Art, shares his connection with sound and how he uses it to create original works of art.

Madsen Minax, My Most Handsome Monster (2013 Idea Fund): This work documents two separate BDSM scenarios and morphs the landscapes in which they take place. The scenarios collide with archival family footage, landscape meditation, and voice over narration to suggest a state of suspended engagement and a gesture toward collective histories and imagined futures.

Kara Hearn, The Need for Grand Emotion (2009 Idea Fund): In this series of staged dramas reminiscent of classic anxiety dreams, 30-year old Will inexplicably finds himself back in high school trying to win the approval of a group of girls. In scenarios ranging from mundane and pathetic to violent and absurd, the character and video work together self-consciously to squeeze authentic experience and emotion from the most artificial and mediated of circumstances.

Stephanie Saint Sanchez, selections from Señorita Cinema (2013 Idea Fund): Señorita Cinema, founded by filmmaker Stephanie Saint Sanchez, is Texas’ first all Latina film festival, with the goal of presenting the rich tapestry of voices, styles, and ideas unique to the Latina experience.

Potter-Belmar Labs (Leslie Raymond and Jason Jay Stevens), Thirteen Views in Arid Lands (2010 Idea Fund): This series of 360-degree scrolling Southwestern American landscape videos was shot in time-lapse, using robotic technology designed, built, and programmed by PBL. Texts that appear in the videos were borrowed from and inspired by the reports and journals of U.S. soldiers seeking the last free Apaches in the Southwest in the 1880s, as well as quotations from the Apaches themselves.

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Dinh Q. Lê Crossing the Farther Shore #walleyfilms

Today we released our eighth film in our series for Rice University Art Gallery. It’s hard to believe we’ve already produced eight short artist documentaries for Rice Gallery. Each film has brought an incredible artist into our lives whose work and stories have inspired us. We’re so grateful to have the chance to travel to Houston and document such a dynamic and beautiful installation space.

Dinh Q. Lê Crossing the Farther Shore #walleyfilms

Our latest film follows the work of acclaimed Vietnamese American artist Dinh Q. Lê. 
In his exhibition, Crossing the Farther Shore, Lê presents thousands of photographs of Southern Vietnam taken before and during the Vietnam War. Lê considers these images to be an important record documenting the everyday lives of Southern Vietnamese people – how they dressed, looked, and felt. Such photos are one of the few records of South Vietnam that have escaped from the Northern Vietnamese communist government’s systematic effort to erase the pre-1975 existence of the South.

Dinh Q. Lê Crossing the Farther Shore #walleyfilms

The photographs also serve as a counter narrative to the images the world saw of Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The hand-stitched structures allude to the mosquito nets under which people sleep in Vietnam, creating what Lê calls a “sleeping, dreaming memory of Vietnam.”

Dinh Q. Lê Crossing the Farther Shore #walleyfilms

“Most of these photos were taken because people want to remember special or happy moments in their lives. It is an extreme contrast to the photographs that the world saw of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.” – Dinh Q. Lê

Dinh Q. Lê Crossing the Farther Shore #walleyfilms

Lê was born in 1968 in Hà Tiên, Vietnam. His family left war-torn Vietnam in 1979 and settled in southern California. In 1996, he moved from New York to Ho Chi Minh City where he now resides. Watch our film below:

Dinh Q. Lê: Crossing the Farther Shore
Rice University Art Gallery
6100 Main Street Houston, Texas 77005
On view April 10 – August 28, 2014

For press images visit on our Flickr page.