YUMA – (KSWT News 13) - Genarro Garcia came to the U.S. looking for the American dream, and he found it… but not in the way he expected.
"The idea was to come to the U.S. to open my own restaurant," explains the Garcia.
Garcia found his success, not the culinary arts, but in the fine arts. The early going was tough. Garcia found himself in Yuma, homeless and jobless, but not hopeless.
"I started doing paintings because that was the only thing I was able to do because it was impossible to get a job at the time," says Garcia.
He scratched out a meager living, selling his art for what he could.
"I used to sell this one at $25 here at the mall," he recalls over a small, mostly pink painting.
Garcia's mall-selling days were in 1998. His style has changed over the years, and so have the prices his works fetch.
"This collector, last year he paid $3500 for this piece," Garcia says about the same pink painting.
The 41 year-old artist is showing his work this week at the Yuma Art Center on Main Street.
"I'm excited. I think that's the word. Extremely excited to exhibit here because Yuma is where everything started," says Garcia.
Garcia and other well-renowned artists are part of an organization that works with graffiti artists in Phoenix. They help redirect the aspiring artists' ambitions towards art galleries instead of alleys.
Garcia remembers his first mural with the group.
"The first mural for the organization was my mural by the name, 'Welcome to Arizona, Build Your Own American Dream.' It's not just my American dream, it's my Mexican dream as well."
Despite Garcia's success with his art, he still hasn't abandoned his original reason for coming to America.
"I know that I will open my restaurant," Garcia says smiling.
The exhibit is called, "The PAINter." It starts Tuesday, March 5th and is free to the public. The Yuma Art Center is located at 254 South Main Street.
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - We have an update for you on the missing Yuma teen who hasn't been heard from in more than four months. Right now, police detectives are looking for a person of interestMore >>
We have an update for you on the missing Yuma teen who hasn't been heard from in more than four months.More >>
BLYTHE, Calif. (13 On Your Side) - A man accused of molesting a child is behind bars today, after a hospital in Blythe reported the abuse. Police say they got the call Monday from Palo Verde Hospital,More >>
A man accused of molesting a child is behind bars today, after a hospital in Blythe reported the abuse.More >>
Bob and Barbara Schmidt dashed to their home on a dirt road in a heavily wooded area northeast of Colorado Springs as smoke from what would become the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history filled the air.More >>
A new wildfire in the foothills southwest of Denver forced the evacuation of dozens of homes Wednesday as hot and windy conditions in much of Colorado and elsewhere in the West made it easy for fires to start and spread.More >>
YUMA, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - We have an update on the passengers injured in a truck rollover near San Luis, Arizona, last week. Today we have learned that all five men are Department of CorrectionsMore >>
We have an update on the passengers injured in a truck rollover near San Luis, Arizona, last week.More >>
SAN LUIS, Ariz. (13 On Your Side) - San Luis firefighters and police teamed up to help five people injured in a single-car roll over early this morning. It happened at around 4:00 am in the desert areaMore >>
San Luis first responders helped five people injured in a truck that flipped over early this morning. More >>
BLYTHE, Calif. (13 On Your Side) - Police are looking for the person who shot a man riding his bicycle. It happened Friday night at around 11:00 pm. Police say a 42-year-old man was riding his bicycleMore >>
Police are looking for the person who shot a man riding his bicycle.More >>
ANDRADE, Calif. (13 On Your Side) - A Somerton man is arrested for trying to smuggle cocaine through the Andrade Port of Entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered the 38 pounds ofMore >>
A Somerton man is arrested for trying to smuggle cocaine through the Andrade Port of Entry.More >>