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Melesio Casas

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Melesio Casas Obituary
November 24, 1929 - November 30, 2014
Melesio (Mel) Casas, born in El Paso, Texas, on November 24, 1929, passed away at his home in San Antonio on Sunday, November 30, 2014. An influential artist, theorist, teacher and mentor, Mel was professor emeritus at San Antonio College where he taught for 29 years, retiring as chairman of the art department in 1990. He served in the Korean War and was awarded the Purple Heart for bravery under fire.

As an artist, Mel is best known for his "Humanscapes", a series of large-scale paintings done between 1965 and 1989. Two of these paintings, "Brownies of the Southwest" and "Barrio Dog", hang in the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian; another, "Humanscape #57", hangs in the San Antonio Museum of Art. In more recent years, Mel's works have been smaller scale, poured paintings. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been the subject of numerous one-person shows.

As a theorist, Mel is best known for the Brown Paper Report and A Contingency Factor written when he assumed the presidency in 1971 of Con Safo, a Chicano art group he helped found in the early 1960s.

Mel is survived by his wife, Grace; sons: Mike, Alfredo and Bruce; daughters: Sonya and Ingrid Torres; grandchildren: Alexander, Stefan and Irina; sisters: Connie, Raquel, Gloria and Eva; and brother: Mike.

A service with military honors will be held at 2:45 pm, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, Ft. Sam Houston Cemetery, and is open to those wishing to attend. A celebration of Mel Casas' life will take place, 4:00 pm, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, at Texas A&M - San Antonio's Educational and Cultural Arts Center (former Museo Alameda), located at 101 S. Santa Rosa in the "El Mercado" area, San Antonio, Texas. Friends and family of Mel are invited to attend.

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Published in Express-News on Dec. 4, 2014
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