"Although some Latinos lived in the northeast at the dawn of
United States history, large groups of Latinos didn't start settling
in Ohio until the end of World War II and the beginning of widespread
construction of the automobile. In Northwest Ohio, many Mexican
American women and children worked to supplement the father's income.
The children, along with their mothers, would spend their summers
working in the fields: picking tomatoes and cucumbers and hoeing
the fields to rid them of weeds.
of the Latinos who came north stayed here and made lives for themselves
and their families. Others continued the migration lifestyle while
many others stayed in the south and southwest. Currently, many migrants
who are living in Northwest Ohio are from countries south of the
U.S. It should be noted that my ancestors have been crossing the
same rivers, deserts and mountains for thousands of years. In painting
the Migration Series, I depict my family members, as they lived,
worked and prayed shortly after their arrival in Northwestern Ohio.
the paintings are derived from black and white photographs from
the late 1940s. The clothing styles, automobiles, hairdos, hats
and shoes all define the time and approximate region. As a young
boy in Northwest Ohio, there were only one or two Mexican restaurants
in Toledo. To me, it is remarkable that in 40 years, dozens of chain
and private restaurants that cater to the demand for Mexican cuisine
have opened in Northwest Ohio. It is one of many ways Latinos are
changing how the U.S. accepts a large part of its history and its