Art Exhibition of Aztec Deities in Burris Hall

Image of black and white drawing.

“Ehecatl – Aztec God of Wind” by Richard Balthazar

Oct. 21, 2019

Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University presents the art exhibit “Ye Gods! Icons of Aztec Deities” in the Burris Hall Gallery, 903 National Ave., through Nov. 1, with a closing reception that day from 5 to 7 p.m.

The reception features live music from the Northern New Mexico acoustic ensemble Lone Pin├Án from 5 until 6 p.m. and an artist talk at 6 p.m.

The exhibition features 17 Aztec deities drawn by Richard Balthazar, a Santa Fe artist and author. The black and white digital images are presented on large-scale 32″ by 40″ vinyl banners with detailed captions.

“The very few Aztec codices, or picture books, that survived the book-burning by Spanish priests during the conquest are our only documentary clues to the lost world of Old Mexico,” Balthazar wrote. “Unlike the Maya, the native peoples of central Mexico, who spoke Nahuatl and several other tongues, the Aztecs never developed a system of writing, but instead they painted pictures. Their striking graphic art challenges us today to appreciate its humanity and divinity.”

“Ye Gods! Icons of Aztec Deities” has been shown at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe and other art exhibition venues.

“This exhibition offers a glimpse of cultural and historical reproductions,” said Karlene Gonzales, a fine arts administrative assistant at Highlands. “Balthazar is very enthusiastic and passionate about his art.”

Balthazar wrote and illustrated two non-fiction books on Pre-Columbian earthworks and the Aztec calendar. He is also the author of a novel, “Divine Debauch,” and an English grammar book, “Getting Get: The Glossary of a Wild Verb.”