Longoria’s design, which will appear on T-shirts at the Twins’ Sept. 13 game. (Image courtesy of Jimmy Longoria)

Longoria’s design, which will appear on T-shirts at the Twins’ Sept. 13 game. (Image courtesy of Jimmy Longoria)
On Tuesday, September 13, when the Minnesota Twins take on the Kansas City Royals at Target Field, the first 5,000 fans through the gate will receive a T-shirt featuring the art of Stillwater artist Jimmy Longoria.
Longoria’s design is one of five from Minnesota artists that the Twins have chosen to feature on T-shirts this season. His design comes when it does, in September, to coincide with Latino Heritage Month.
But this isn’t the first time that Longoria’s art has been featured on major league merch. About a year ago the Minnesota Timberwolves ran a similar promotion, with one of the shirts featuring a design by Longoria, that sold out almost immediately. Longoria credits the success of the Timberwolves design with his getting interest from the Twins.
A muralist and painter, Longoria has been awarded a Bush Foundation Fine Art Fellowship and he is the only Minnesota Artist to have his work on permanent display at Chicago’s National Museum of Mexican Art. His artwork hangs in the offices and homes of celebrities and politicians such as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and actor and Chicano Art collector, Cheech Marin.
Longoria’s art also hangs in 3M’s Innovation Center, and it is the only artist piece that does so. Longoria relished the chance to work on that piece, because it meant working with 3M engineers, using interesting media and materials, like reflective paints, in interesting ways.
After growing up in south Texas, Longoria moved with his family to California. He studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago, and after some early successes there, moved to Minnesota.
Longoria has said, “I’m a Chicano Artist, that means I put service before self.” In Minneapolis, Longoria has used his work as a muralist, for example, to help try to clean up an area of Lake Street that was seeing increased drug traffic. His idea to use a mural to combat drug traffic may seem odd at first, but there was a logic to it. For one, his art was pushing back against gang tags that were going up, which also acted as signals that the corner was a distribution point. But also, as he explained, “The art makes people look. The drug dealers, they don’t care about that. But their customers get spooky when people are looking and they move on.”
Artists, Longoria said, can never retire. Longoria lives and works at Stillwater’s Boutwells Landing with his wife, where he creates art in a 1,400 square foot studio. He calls Boutwells “Disneyland for the elderly.”
“All of my neighbors have invented something,” he said, “or they built something, or they brought something interesting or beautiful into the world.”
If you can’t make it to the Twins game on September 13, don’t worry, you can get the T-shirt with his design online.
To learn more about Jimmy Longoria’s work, you can visit jimmylongoria.com.
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