Painter and photographer Jimmy Jalapeeno died peacefully yesterday afternoon, surrounded by friends and family.
Born Albert James Bonar in 1947, Jalapeeno was a lifetime Texas resident, where he made art for over 50 years. He was known for both his photography and his painting, notably his incandescent oil paintings of Texas Hill Country scenery. He was also a photographer for the Texas Historical Commission for more than 25 years. Jalapeeno attended the University of Houston from 1964-1966 and received a BFA in painting and photography from the University of Texas in 1969. He attended the University of California at Davis (his only two years away from Texas) where he received an MFA in painting and photography in 1973.
Jalapeeno received two National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowships and a public art commission for the Robert Mueller Airport in Austin. His photography and paintings were featured in numerous exhibitions throughout his career, such as Southern Fictions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Fresh Paint at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the 1983 New Orleans Triennial, Jimmy Jalapeeno: New Works at Laguna Gloria Museum, Austin, and group and solo shows at d berman gallery, Austin.
Jalapeeno’s friends and family have been posting many photos from his life and long career on his Facebook page, where he is described as a “brilliant artist, trickster, raconteur, lover of kitties, excellent brother, amazing friend, splendid husband and beautiful soul.”