Gordon Lucero’s family is not native to the Trujillo Creek valley of southern Colorado. His great grandparents homesteaded here a mere century and a half ago, but for that stretch of time, they have been stewards of a small piece of the land and its history. His mother, Anne, is the keeper of the valley’s stories now and it’s her teachings along with his experiences growing up ranching and farming that informs his food, his art, and his life.
But the creativity with which Gordon lives every day isn’t only influenced by these solid Latino roots. Coming of age in the turbulent and exciting ‘60s and ‘70s, he had the opportunity to broaden his horizons and experiment in all mediums. Now, his palette as well as his palate make use of colors, flavors, and essences that are influenced by the old and the new, artfully blending the local and the global in works both of the studio and the kitchen.
When cooking, he loves to make use of locally sourced ingredients whenever he can and even when he sources from further abroad, he always infuses his cuisine with his creative twists on his ancestors’ basics. Pots of beans and pans of chili can be found on any given day, bubbling harmoniously beside his delicately rich Alfredo, pans of enchiladas share oven space with chicken cordon bleu, and the ranchers’ favorite prime rib slowly roasts to perfection as he hand-prepares au jus and mint for the rack of lamb.
His art is another story, and it isn’t. The colors and textures of the land, his ancestry, and his history can be found in these works but they, too, have been influenced by the changes in our world and the innovative minds of this time. In the studio, he also prefers to source materials locally scavenging those throw away things that haven’t yet lived out their usefulness, using found surfaces and objects to anchor and enhance his vividly colorful visions inspired by the impressionists of the last century and the graffiti artists of this one. No matter whether he’s describing environments familiar or altogether alien, the horizon of the Spanish Peaks, the view that has nourished his family for five generations, appears nearly always as a reminder of where his life force comes from.
Whether he’s cooking the line with his calm flourish or piecing together cardboard, paints, pastels, and bottle lids, Gordon has found a way to navigate the old and the new in a way uniquely his own.