Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1909, Jose Aceves became a painter, muralist, designer, and sculptor who exhibited widely in the area of El Paso, Texas, where he moved with his family during the Mexican Revolution. As an artist he was basically self taught, although he learned informally from his friends Tom Lea and Audley Dean Nicols. He painted murals at the El Paso Post oofice and was in Arizona. In 1936, he completed a painting of the Grand Canyon.
During World War II, Aceves served in the U.S. Navy including being an illustrator. After the war, he used the GI Bill to attend El Paso Technical High School and the American Academy of Art in Chicago. He returned to El Paso for the remainder of his life, dying there in 1968.