Shared childhood experiences in the Inland area brought together the artists known collectively as The Boys of Summer.
The group has staged group shows across Southern California and plans an exhibition next year at Mt. San Jacinto College.
“We started out as friends of all backgrounds finding common ground and still remain a group of friends hanging out,” collective co-founder Kristofferson San Pablo said.
He and Ryan Perez met at middle school in Fontana and later attended Fontana’s A.B Miller High School together.
“We were always into the same things, like skateboarding, art and comics and doing creative things together,” said San Pablo, a painter.
The pair honed their artistic identities as Cal State San Bernardino students and put together a joint show when a friend offered them space in his skateboard shop in the early 2000s.
“Since it was after school was out and just for the season, we put together some cool things and called it ‘The Boys of Summer,’” he said.
A few years later, the duo had built a community of painters, sculptors and photographers who grew up in the Inland Empire and shared the same sensibilities. Fellow artists they met at Cal State include Conrad Ruiz, Emilio Santoyo, Chet Glaze and Mark Batongmalaque.
All are professional artists and many are art teachers as well. While their work is not intentionally themed around the Inland area, two members, Glaze and Batongmalaque, still live in the area. It continues to serve as an inspiration for the artists’ observations on pop culture, identity and gender politics,…
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