Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Distinguished Alumni

Jesus Ben Lucero

Jesus Ben Lucero - 1995

Jesus Ben Lucero, a Raramuri (Tarahumara) and Mayo Indian, is an accomplished artist who has exhibited his paintings in art galleries in 22 countries.  He has traveled extensively in Europe lecturing on American Indian culture and has used his paintings and lectures to educate other parts of the world. 

Lucero has also been active in education, beginning his teaching career at Clinton High School in Clinton, Oklahoma.  After teaching in several other school districts in California and Arizona, Lucero was employed at Palomar College in San Marcos, Calif., where he held the administrative position of director of Extended Opportunities Programs and Services.  He also initiated the American Indian Studies Department and programs. 

Lucero’s art work has achieved a marked individuality and artistry.  His art works are found in numerous private collections as well as museums in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Zambia, Africa, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the United States.  He began his art studies while attending Bacone Indian College under the instruction and guidance of Dr. Richard West.  But it was not until he attended Southwestern that he became seriously involved I his art.  The enlightenment he received from Dr. West was the foundation for the challenges and direction given to him by Merle Kelley, Richard Taflinger, and Kenneth Watson, all former members of the SWOSU Art Department. 

After years as an internationally-known, jet-setting artist, Lucero has returned home to Southeastern Arizona.  He devotes full time to his art works, traveling, and participating in various art shows and festivals.  Today, he and his wife, Edith, live in his childhood home.  Lucero has three sons.  Jose, the eldest, lives in Chickasha, Okla., Ben Jr. is an educator living in Long Beach, Calif., and Michael is owner of Camera American in Lawrence, Kan.